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n IT 

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Voice of the 
Notional Federation of the Blind 


The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind-it is the 
bhnd speaking for themselves. 


Published monthly in inkprint, Braille, and on talking book discs 
Distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind 
President: Kenneth Jemigan, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 

EDITOR: Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Avenue Sacramento, California 95822 
Assoaate Editor: Hazel tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708 
News items should be sent to the Editor 
Address changes should be sent to 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708 


If you or a friend wish to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you 
can do so by employing the following language: 

"I give, devise, and bequeath unto NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, 

a District of Columbia non-profit corporation, the sum of $ (or, 

" percent of my net estate", or "the following stocks and bonds: ") to 

be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons and to be held and 
administered by direction of its Executive Committee " 

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the 
Berkeley Office for otlier suggested forms. 

Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708 






by Kenneth Jemigan 117 


by Xena E. Johnson 126 



by James Omvig 135 


by Peter J. Salmon 142 






by William G. Corey 149 


by Patrick Young 150 


by Sidney Gmber 152 


by Pearl Ottenheuner 153 




by William M. Kapp 157 


by Kapisha Kamangala 159 






Kenneth Jemigan 
524 Fourth Street 
Des Moines, Iowa 50309 


Donald C. Capps 
South Carolina 



Harold Raagan 

Lawrence Marcelino 


Franklin VanVliet 
New Hampshire 


Dr. Mae Davidow 

Ray Dinsmore 

Ned Graham 

(Mrs.) Nellie Hargrove 

(Miss) Anita O'Shea 

Perry Sundquist 

Manuel Urena 



Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant 

Dr. Jacob Freid 
New York 

James Gashel 


The largest gathering concerned with 
blindness ever held in the world was the 
annual Convention of the National 
Federation of the Blind, held in 
MinneapoHs, Minnesota from July 4 to 
July 7, 1970. Let the record speak for 
itself! Even the weather cooperated with 
temperatures in the 70's. As with recent 
NFB National Conventions, People, 
Purpose, and Program combined to make 
of this year's conclave a truly outstanding 


More than 1,250 men, women, and 
children converged on the Twin Cities 
from all parts of the United States and 
from foreign countries. This created 
problems, delightful ones— with 
ever-expanding facilities being pressed into 
service to accommodate the crowds. 
However, the host affiliates, the Minnesota 
Organization of the Blind and the United 
Blind of Minnesota, were equal to the 
challenges. The delegates and their friends 
filled to capacity the huge Hall of States in 

the Leamington Hotel for the general 
business sessions. As usual most people 
arrived two days aliead of time and there 
was much jolly greeting of old friends ajid 
meeting of new ones. 


A sense of unity, of community 
interest, pervaded all of the meetings-a 
quiet but obvious determination that 
nothing could or would stay the organized 
blind in their sure progress toward a better 
day for sightless persons everywhere. 

The President's Report which has 
come to be a Convention highliglit began 
with a silent tribute to those affiliate 
presidents and past presidents who died 
during the past twelve months. The sad 
roll included the names of Tom Gronning, 
immediate past president of the 
Washington State Association of the Blind; 
Alfonso Smith, president of the Ohio 
Council and a member of the Executive 
Committee of the NFB; Eulassee 
Hardenbergh, president of the Alabama 


affiliate and one-time secretary of the 
NFB; Francis Flanagan, president of the 
Connecticut affiliate; Bill Hogan, past 
president of the Connecticut group and a 
long-time member of the NFB Executive 
Committee; and Clyde Ross, formerly 
president of the Ohio Council and also a 
member of the Executive Committee for 
many years. 

The President then reviewed in detail 
the action-packed preceding twelve 
months. On the fiscal front the 
organization achieved complete victory in 
the tax payment problem after a rigorous 
audit of its transactions by the Internal 
Revenue Service. The organization can 
continue to operate in its tax-exempt 
status since its income is related to its 
charitable purposes and all gifts made to it 
are tax-deductible. The FEDCO 
Corporation is now totally owned by the 
NFB,the purchase price of half a million 
dollars having been paid in full. Last fall 
the Board of Directors of FEDCO (which 
consists of the elected officers of the 
NFB) purchased a controlling interest in a 
plastics company, Nu-Mode, for $450,000. 
Already $200,000 has been paid of this 
purchase. This spring the new company, 
which will diversify to produce more 
income, survived in spite of the general 
economic woes which grip the country. 
Details of bequests from three estates, 
totahng some $66,000, were given and 
some $80,000 was added to the Jacobus 
tenBroek Endowment Fund. 

The President reported on the 
continued phenomenal growth in the 
distribution of The Braille Monitor in each 
of its three editions-inkprint. Braille, and 
record. Additional copies of the 
twenty-nine-minute NFB film are now 
available from the Berkeley Office. 

On the organizational front, two new 
State affihates were brought into being, 
North Carolina and Oregon, and the 
Michigan affiliate was re-organized at its 
request. A variety of court actions were 
pursued in behalf of bhnd persons. A 
comprehensive Survey and Evaluation of 
Programs for the Blind in the State of 
Hawaii was carried out at the request of 
the State's House of Representatives and 
the Report was duly filed. Our Disability 
Insurance Bill for the Blind is moving. The 
International Federation of the Blind held 
its first full-scale convention last fall with 
participation by the NFB. John Nagle, 
Chief of the Washington Office, received 
the American Foundation for the Blind's 
Migel Medal. He has appeared in a variety 
of cases as attorney for bhnd persons as 
well as carrying on his regular activities. 

The President concluded his report 
by stating that the year aliead will be 
difficult and will necessitate belt 
tightening. However, we are planning for a 
further expansion of the circulation of 
The Braille Monitor, the organization of 
new state affilates, and other activities. 
The President stressed the urgency of 
maintaining the present momentum with 
its sense of purpose and dedication to the 
cause of self-organization of the blind. 

Nine hundred and thirty 
persons-another new record-attended the 
banquet held on Sunday evening, July 6. 
John Taylor of Iowa served as the capable 
Master of Ceremonies. Guests included 
several members of the Minnesota 
Legislature. Congressman Clark MacGregor 
and Congressman Donald Eraser, both of 
Minnesota, addressed the multitude. 
Charters of affiliation were presented to 
the presidents of the Michigan, North 
Carolina, and Oregon affiliates. The 


Howard Brown Rickard Scholaiship 
awards totaling S 1,550 were presented by 
Mr. Allen Jenkins of California, Chairman 
of the Scholarship Comrnittee, to seven 
blind college students. 

President Kenneth Jernigan delivered 
the banquet address. An enthusiastic 
standing ovation greeted his introduction. 
Mr. Jemigan's theme was tliat bhndness 
should be recognized for what it is, a 
physical nuisance not an overwhelming 
tragedy. He said, "Everything which we 
are and which we have become rises up to 
give the lie to the disaster concept of 
blindness." "It is we who are demanding 
that we be called by our rightful and true 
names: names such as competent, normal 
and equal. We do not object to being 
known as blind, for that is what we are. 
What we protest is that we are not also 
known as people, for we are that, too." 
President Jernigan criticised some 
professionals who work with the blind and 
some members of the public for viewing 
blindness as a disaster. He cited many 
instances of people displaying 
condescending attitudes toward bhnd 
people and treating them as "patients". 
"How are we to reply to these prophets of 
gloom and doom, who cry havoc and have 
nothing to offer us but whistles in the 
dark? . . . the simplest and most effective 
argument comes from our own experience 
as blind people. . . . We are now 
functioning in all of the various 
professions, trades and callings of the 
regular community." President Jernigan 
illustrated his speech by ridiculing 
advertisements for aids to the bhnd 
including that for an "emergency whistle" 
and one for a special "uniform" for bhnd 
persons. The mention of the 
advertisements brought laughter from the 

audience. The assumption of these 
advertisements was that the tragic pliglit 
of the blind is such that they can't do 
anything without the aid of mechanical 
devices. President Jernigan urged the 
Federation to push for integration and 
equality for bhnd people. "Blind people 
are normal people who can not see. . . . 
there are none so blind as those who will 
not see tliis simple truth." [The full text 
of the President's address is printed 
elsewhere in this issue of Tlie Monitor.] 



Hazel (Mrs. Jacobus) tenBroek gave 
the Report from the Berkeley Office. She 
received a standing ovation when siie was 
introduced by the President. Mrs. 
tenBroek stated that the main function of 
the Berkeley Office was that of a 
communications center. She gave details 
of the huge volume of materials sent out 
by the NFB during the past year. To 
complicate the lives of those in the 
Berkeley Office, one-third of the 
tliousands on the mailing lists move each 
year and, oddly enough, this fact is 
discovered in ninety percent of the cases 
by notification not from the individual 
concerned but from the post office. There 
were 189 presidential releases in 1969. 
Mrs. tenBroek pointed out that the NFB 
now has forty-four state affiUates in 
forty-three states, yet only sixteen have 

Dr. Jacob Freid, Executive Director 
of the Jewish Braille Institute of America, 
presented a paper on the Duty of the 
Blind Intellectual in a Time of Crisis. "All 
other men do what they may for freedom 


and against injustices," Dr. Freid said, "It 
is the supreme reward of the blind 
intellectual that he can transcend the 
conditions of passion and unreason. Given 
courage, therefore, he has the assurance of 
the ultimate victory. For, as no other man, 
he goes out to fight in the clear light of 
day. For the blind intellectual has, as all of 
us in the NFB have, the glory of being 
front-line soldiers in the liberation war for 
all humanity." 

Equahty of opportunity and the 
absolute right of achieved status was tlie 
subject of a paper by Dr. Clara Kanun, 
Director of Research at the University of 

On Sunday afternoon Mr. Carl 
Schier, an attorney in Southfield, 
Michigan, reviewed three legal cases 
involving discrimination against blind 
persons and his efforts in the courts in 
their behalf. Two of these cases involve 
blind teachers who were dismissed by the 
school authorities before they could gain 
tenure, even though their work had been 
quite satisfactory during the probationary 
period. The third case involves a blind 
person who was refused the right to apply 
for a civil service position. With attorneys 
like Carl Schier, blind or sighted, at the 
legal barricades the way will be made 
easier for bUnd persons in their continuous 
struggle against prejudice. 

Mr. M. Robert Barnett, Executive 
Director of the American Foundation for 
the Blind, said that the blind have been 
victims of bad advertising for 5,000 years. 
He urged all of us, as we approach die 
next century, to do what we can to change 
this. Barnett stated that many 
organizations purportedly serving the 
blind knowingly or otherwise perpetuate 

this bad advertising. 

James Gashel, president of the 
National Federation of the Blind Student 
Division, told the Convention of the 
progress and plans of the more youthful 
segment of the movement. 

President Kenneth Jernigan presented 
a paper which discussed the disturbing 
trend toward total obliteration of separate 
agencies for the bhnd and spelled out the 
necessity for vigorous action to try to 
stem this tide before we are all engulfed in 
super agencies. [The July issue of T!ic 
Braille Monitor carried the full text of this 
most timely warning, entitled "The 
Separate Agency for the Blind-Why and 

An interesting panel on the subject of 
organizing activities and new affiliates was 
presented. The panel was ably chaired by 
Don Capps of South Carolina and included 
Lawrence Marcelino of California, 
Clarence Collins, president of the North 
Carolina affOiate, Miss Evelyn Weckerly, 
president of the Michigan affiliate, and 
Harvey Twombley, president of the 
Oregon affiliate. The audience was given a 
graphic picture of the trials, tribulations, 
and successes of the NFB organizing 

One exciting aspect of Minnesota's 
programs for the blind was brought out on 
Monday morning by C. Stanley Potter, 
Director of Services for the Blind and 
Visually Handicapped, and three members 
of his staff. Details were given concerning 
Minnesota's innovative radio program. The 
agency sponsors some seventeen hours 
daily of broadcasting news, fiction, and 
educational materials over a special 
frequency on the FM band. A very high 


pitch is used and is picked up by blind 
persons equipped with special receivers 
supplied by the agency. 

That session concluded with two 
papers on the status of workshops for the 
bhnd. Speakers were Robert D. Moraii, 
Administrator of the Wage and Hour 
division of the U. S. Department of Labor, 
and Robert C. Goodpasture, Executive 
Vice-President of National Industries for 
the Blind. Mr. Moran stated that sheltered 
workshops presented a dismal picture witli 
respect to violations of fair wage 
provisions and promised that the law will 
be vigorously enforced. Mr. Goodpasture 
believes that some scheme for wage 
supplement sliould be devised for those 
multiply-handicapped blind workers in 
sheltered shops. 

"The Federation in the World" was 
the feature of Tuesday morning's session. 
The panel consisted of Dr. Isabelle L. D. 
Grant of the United States; Alemu 
Checole of Ethiopia; Nadia Pyndiali of the 
Island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean; 
and E. V. Joseph of India. Each of the 
foreign visitors spoke with concern about 
conditions of the blind in his or her 
country. In Etliiopia there are 1400 
members of the Association of the Blind. 
The entire population of Mauritius is less 
than one million, so there are fewer blind 
persons but those have then- problems. In 
India there are five million bhnd, one-third 
of the world's total bhnd population. 

Peter Salmon, Director of the 
National Center for Deaf-Bhnd Youths 
and Adults, reviewed the new provisions 
being made for this group, and Robert 
Dantona, Coordinator for Centers and 
Services for deaf-bhnd children in the 
Department of HEW told of the progress 

being made to provide real help to these 
long-neglected people. 

Tuesday morning's session concluded 
with a most interesting and practical 
presentation on the subject of financing an 
affiliate, presented by Phil Houghtelin, 
Chainnan of the Special Committee on 
Finance, Minnesota Organization of the 
Blind. Mr. Houghtehn not only described 
in detail his successful plan of securing 
contributions from foundations, but 
actually prepared and gave to each state 
affiliate a brailled hst of foundations in 
each state. This involved a tremendous 
amount of work and all who must deal 
with fundraising will be most grateful. 

On Tuesday afternoon Jim Omvig, of 
the Iowa Commission for the Blind, 
presented an outstanding paper on "State 
and Local Affiliates: the Viewpoint of an 
Attorney". After sketching the activities 
of the NFB, Jim dealt with such things as 
incorporation of state and local affiliates; 
are they compelled to pay taxes; the 
dissolution clause; tax returns and 
tax-deductible contributions to 
organizations; and hcensing of fundraising 
activities. This paper was so packed full of 
concrete suggestions and explanations that 
it is printed in full elsewhere in this issue. 

Bonifacio Yturbide of California 
reported on tlie formal organization of the 
bhnd lawyers group of the NFB. He 
outlined a number of proposed projects 
designed to assist students and lawyers 
ahke. The Convention went on record as 
giving full support to this effort. 


Manuel Urena served as the chairman 
of a hard-working committee which did an 


excellent job in drafting some nine 
resolutions which were adopted by the 
Convention. Full texts of these resolutions 
will ,be found elsewhere in tliis issue gf 
The Monitor. 

Legislation in the 91st Congress 

John Nagle, Chief of the ^aslihigtoij 
Office, gave his usual vigorous 
presentation of NFB-sponsored bills in the 
current Congress. A run-down of this 
pendmg legislation was printed in the 
June, 1970 issue of Tlie Braille Monitor. 
John stressed the miportance of pending 
amendments to tlie Wagner-O'Day Act 
concerning the purchase of blind-made 
products by the Government, and the 
proposed amendments to the 
Randolph-Sheppard Act governing vending 
stand operations. John discussed the 
House of Representatives' version of the 
NFB-sponsored Disability Insurance for 
the Blind bill. The House decided to 
eliminate the requirement of twenty out 
of the last forty quarters of covered 
employment for bUnd persons to be 
eligible for cash disability benefits. As a 
result, bUnd persons who are fully insured 
and who are not engaged in substantial 
gainful activity will be ehgible for cash 
benefits. Nagle pointed out that the NFB 
would press hard in the Senate for 
provisions incorjiorating all of the features 
of the Burke Bill and spoke of the House 
action as giving us "crumbs". The 
President of the NFB reminded John that 
these were rather expensive "crumbs" 
since the Government estimates that some 
30,000 blind persons will be made eligible 
for disability cash benefits costmg some 
$25 million the first year. During the 
course of his report, Nagle asked Perry 
Sundquist to give the details of the 
pending Family Assistance Plan and the 

proposed 1970 Amendments to the Social 
Security Act. After John concluded, some 
2,000 copies of the Presidential 
Proclamation on the White Cane were 
distributed. [The full text of this 
Proclamation is given elsewhere in this 
issue of The Monitor.] 


This being the even year, elections 
were held for all of the officers and five 
members of the Executive Committee (the 
usual four plus the filling of a vacancy 
caused by the death of Al Smith of Ohio). 
The Nominating Committee held its 
meeting on Saturday evening, July 4, ably 
chaired by Marshall Tucker of South 
Carolina. Bob Whitehead of Kentucky, 
who has served as Chairman of the 
Nominating Committee for the past 
several years, was unable to come due to 
illness but he and his wife Lillian sent a 
telegram of greetings to the Convention. 
Each of the forty-three states named a 
representative to the committee. Eloquent 
testimony to the unity of purpose and 
determination to continue the NFB's 
sweep forward was given by the fact that 
the Nominating Committee unanimously 
endorsed candidates for each of the five 
positions of the officers. Kenneth Jemigan 
was nominated for President; Donald C. 
Capps of South Carohna for First 
Vice-President: Harold Reagan of 
Kentucky for Second Vice-President; 
Lawrence (Muzzy) Marcehno of Cahfornia 
for Secretary; and Franklin VanVliet of 
New Hampshire for Treasurer. Mae 
Davidow of Pennsylvania, Ned Graham of 
Maryland, and Manuel Urena of Iowa were 
nominated for re-election for two-year 
terms on the Executive Committee. 
William Dwyer of New York was 
nominated for the fourtli two-veai' term 


and Anita O'Shea of Massachusetts was 
nominated to fill the unexpired term of 
the late Al Smith. The elections were held 
Sunday morning. Kenneth Jemigan of 
Iowa was elected by acclamation as were 
Don Capps, Harold Reagan, Lawrence 
Marcelino. Franklin VanVliet, Anita 
O'Shea, Mae Davidow, and Ned Graliam. 
Both Manuel Urena and Bill Dwyer were 
elected by overwhelming majorities. The 
Convention elected as members of the 
Board of Directors Dr. Jacob Freid, 
Executive Director of the Jewish Braille 
Institute of America and long known as an 
aggressive champion of the organized 
blind; James Gashel, president of the NFB 
Student Division and this past school year 
a successful teacher in Minnesota's public 
schools; and Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant of 
California, the Ambassador-at-large of 
America's organized blind to the blind of 
other countries. President Jemigan was 
named delegate to the World Council for 
the Welfare of the Blind. The NFB is 
entitled to six votes in the International 
Federation of the Blind. Three delegates 
to the IFB were elected: Kenneth 
Jernigan, Dr. Isabelle Grant, and Anthony 
G. Mannino of Cahfornia. 

The FEDCO Corporation 

The General Manager of FEDCO, the 
wholly-owned subsidiary of the NFB, 
Bernard Gerchen, addressed the 
Convention, giving in some detail facts 
concerning the operation of FEDCO 
during the past year. He was most 
enthusiastically received by the delegates. 


Exhibits were displayed during the 
entire Convention and this year there was 
a greater variety which may account for 

the crowds which visited the display 
rooms. The new electric Perkins brailler, 
not yet on the market, was shown. Also 
there was a brand new radio and television 
receiver with braille markings on the dials 
and settings. 


Devotional services were held 
preceding the general sessions on 
Santurday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday 
mornings. These services were 
non-sectarian in nature and were well 

Revision of Constitution 

Last fall the Executive Committee 
was appointed as a Constitutional Revision 
Committee and did a thorough job of 
examining every section of every article. 
The constitution had been amended 
several times in the past, usually in times 
of stress, but no over all consideration had 
been given to it. The Constitutional 
Revision Committee, through President 
Jemigan, made its report on Sunday 
morning and continued the discussion by 
starting the Monday morning session an 
liour early. There was broad discussion on 
tlie proposal with wide participation by 
the delegates. On Tuesday morning a roll 
call vote of the states was taken and the 
new constitution was adopted by an 
overwhelming vote. A substantive change 
was the incorporation into the 
constitution of pertinent portions of the 
Code of Affiliate Standards. Deleted was 
the provision that Robert's Rules of Order 
shall govem parliamentary procedure. 
Proxy voting is prolribited in state and 
local affiliates. Each state shall pay annual 
dues of $30 irrespective of its size. After a 
searching review. Article by Article, the 


Convention adopted the new constitution. 
The full text of tlic new document is 
printed in this issue of The Monitor. 

Connnittee Reports 

The first major event of the 
Convention occurred on Friday morning, 
July 3, with tiie meeting of the lixecutive 
Committee. The meeting was open to all 
who cared to attend, and several hundred 
did. Convention arrangements were 
discussed and there was a general review of 
the past year's activities. Reports of the 
standing committees deaUng with the 
tniancial condition of the Federation were 
presented to the Convention on Tuesday 
afternoon, July 7. Anthony C. Mannino, 
National White Cane Cliairnian,- gave a 
brief but stimulating report on continued 
jirogress in this area of fundraising and 
education of the public. Lawrence 
Marcelino, Chainnan of the Jacobus 
tenBroel< Endowment Fund, reported that 
investments in the Fund had now 
surpassed the two liundred thousand 
dollar mark, being $211,664. Peiry 
Sundquist, Cliairman of the Subcommittee 
on Budget and Finance of the Executive 
Committee, detailed receipts and 
expenditures for the calendar year 1969 
and for the first five months of 1970, 
indicating a continued rise in the steady 
fmancial climb of tiie Federation. He 
sounded a note of caution, however, 
pointing out that strikes, shortage of 
supplies, and the general economic 
slowdown would take their toll in income 
to the Federation in 1970. 

Group Meetings 

The Membership Committee imd the 
Correspondents Committee met Friday 
afternoon, July 3. The Student Division 

and the Blind Merchants met tluit evening. 
The Teachers' Meeting and the Blind 
Lav^'ers' Meeting were held Saturday 
evening. The White Cane Luncheon was 
held Sunday noon. All of these special 
interest gi'oups are finding their meetings 
increasingly popular with those attending 
annual Conventions. 


It is estimated that upward of three 
hundred door prizes were drawn, totaling 
several thousand dollars in value. The 
prizes ranged all the way from wallets and 
transistor radios, through grab bags filled 
with goodies, to $100 bills, an electric 
typewriter, and a hi-fi stereo set. Each 
morning's general session was opened with 
the drawing for a crisp $100 bill, so there 
was no problem in securing prompt and 
full attendance. Manuel Urena served as 
Master of Prizes, most capably assisted by 
his wife Patricia. 

Convention Sites 

At the Columbia, South Carohna, 
Convention last year the delegates voted 
by a very narrow margin to hold the 1972 
Convention in Hawaii. During the past 
year several had second thoughts on this 
decision. A full discussion was held as to 
the additional cost involved to those who 
wished to attend the 1972 Convention and 
it was regretfully voted to rescind the 
action. This left the site for 1972 open 
and Colorado was the overwhelming 
choice. Both the State of Washington and 
Illinois bid for the 1973 Convention and 
Illinois won by the close vote of 21 to 18. 

Social Activities 

Monday afternoon was "tour day". 


Being in the Twin Cities, it was 
appropriate that the delegates and their 
friends be offered a twin feature-either a 
visit to a play at the Old Log Tlieatre 
located by Lake Minnetonka, or a 
three-hour ride on the Mississippi River on 
a new stern-wheeler. While there was an 
absolute limit of 250 tickets to be sold for 
the boat ride, it proved so popular that 
our Minnesota Hosts quickly arranged for 
a second boat ride, thus meaning that 500 
Convention guests were acoommodaied. 
The dedicated hard work of those 
Minnesotans showed up in many other 
ways. The Minnesota Hospitality Room 
was open Friday and Saturday evenings, 
and Sunday evening following the 
banquet, as well as on Monday evening 
following the return from tlie tours. In 
addition, a hospitality and open house 
reception were held by the President, 
Kenneth Jernigan; the First 
Vice-President, Don Capps; the Treasurer 
Franklin VanVliet; and the host affiliates. 
Crowds could be found in these various 
places of good fellowship into the wee 
small hours. The members of tlie United 
Blind of Minnesota and the Minnesota 
Organization of the Blind were indeed 
gracious hosts and made all feel most 
welcome at the 30th annual Convention of 
the National Federation of the Blind. 

Tid Bits 

The first door prize of the 
Convention went to the wife of the NFB's 
First Vice-President. Betty Capps' name 
was drawn for one of the $100 bills 
contributed by the NFB's financial wizard, 
Beniie Gerchen. The Cappses' gain was 
Cecil Phillips' loss. . . The name of the 
Washington State Association of the Blind 
president was actually the first one drawn, 
but Cecil was not present in the 

Convention haD and missed out. 

Jim Schleppergrell, president of the 
United Blind of Minnesota, registered his 
guide dog at the Convention, ;md this 
turned out to be a good investment. . . . 
The dog won one of the door prizes! 

The weather in the Twin Cities lived 
up to the Chamber of Commerce 
boasts. . . It was "Minnesota cool" during 
most of the Convention. The hotel's air 
conditioning also was cool, sometimes too 
much so. 

The 500 Convention goers who took 
a boat ride on the Mississippi River were 
the most wide-awake people in the Twin 
Cities. They had to be~the ship's captain 
frequently let loose with ear-shattering 
blasts of the boat whistle. 

The delicious chicken served at the 
Convention banquet must have been raised 
by Paul Bunyan. Few were able to eat all 
of the enormous portions, and one wag 
commented, "It's like at a Jewish 

The Master-of-Ceremonies at the 
banquet-John Taylor-took note of the 
record-breaking and ever-increasing 
attendance at NFB Conventions. He 
suggested the next time the get together is 
held in Minneapolis, it will have to be 
scheduled for a time when the Minnesota 
Twins will be on a lOad trip and the 
55,000 seat Metropolitan Stadium will be 

Fortunately there was a 
twenty-four-hour restaurant one block 
from the Convention hotel. It was well 
frequented by partygoing Federationists 
who closed out each night's festivities with 


a dawn breakfast. Many Convention goers 
must have set a new record for 
sleeplessness, while others got as much as 
four or five hours of sleep per night! 

Southern Minnesotans received 
Hberal doses of the NFB's philosophy 
concerning blindness. Federationists were 
interviewed at various times by virtually 
all of the major TV and radio outlets in 
the Twin Cities, and superlative jobs were 
done by all. 

The tele-Touch machine fascinated 
several Minnesota legislators attending the 
banquet. Mr. and Mrs. Gary Patterson of 
Des Moines performed yeoman service on 
the machine bringing the Convention 
proceedings to a fellow lowan, Miss 
Margaret Warren, who is blind and deaf. 

John Nagle slipped on the stairs going 
to the platform before the opening of tlie 
last day and took a tumble that resulted in 
a broken knee cap. John is doing his usual 
work, keeping his secretaiy busy, and 

visiting with Congressmen on our 
legislation by phone, all from a hospital 

Hazel tenBroek who won no prizes in 
all the years she has been attending 
National Conventions, this year won two. 

Manuel Urena who last year had his 
cane swallowed up by a voracious 
revolving restaurant, this year had the 
management lose his room for some hours. 
Naturally, it took a fellow lowan to come 
to his rescue and return him safely to his 
wife Pat in the early hours of the morning 
after Manuel had spent some hours 
wandering around the halls, knocking on 
the wrong doors, looking for her. 

One blind lass found what seemed to 
be bubble bath in the bag of goodies given 
her when she registered and after having it 
confirmed by a friend, proceeded to 
prepare a bath. When she got into it, she 
discovered that she was sitting hke a 
marshmallow in a tub full of cocoa. 



Kenneth Jemigan 

It is not only individual human 
beings who suffer from what the 
psychologists call an "identity crisis"--that 
is, a confusion and doubt as to who and 
what they are. So do groups of human 
be ings— communities, associations, 
minorities, even whole nations. And so it 
is— in this year of space if not of 
grace-with the bUnd, organized and 
unorganized. We are, as I beheve, in the 

midst of our own full-fledged identity 
crisis. For the first time in 
centuries-perhaps in a millennium-our 
collective identity is in question. For the 
first time in modem history there are 
anguish and argument, not only as to wliat 
we are, but as to what we may become. 
The traditional images and myths of 
blindness, which liad been taken for 
granted and for gospel throughout the 


ages, both by the seeing and by the blind 
themselves, are now abruptly and 
astonishingly under attack. 

Who is it that dares thus to disturb 
the peace and upset the applecart of 
traditional definitions? The aggressors are 
here in this room. They are you and I. 
>They are the organized bUnd of the 
National Federation. It is we who have 
brouglit on our own identity crisis-by 
renouncing and repudiating our old 
mistaken identity as the "helpless blind." 
It is we who are demanding that we be 
called by our rightful and true names: 
names such as competent, normal, and 
equal. We do not object to being known as 
blind, for that is what we are. What we 
protest is that we are not also known as 
people, for we are tliat, too. What we ask 
of society is not a change of heart (our 
road to shelter has always been paved with 
good intentions), but a change of 
image-zn exchange of old myths for new 

Of all the roadblocks in the path of 
the blind today, one rises up more 
formidably and threateningly than ail 
others. It is the invisible barrier of 
ingrained social attitudes toward blindness 
and the bhnd-attitudes based on suspicion 
and superstition, on ignorance and error, 
which continue to hold sway in men's 
minds and to keep the blind in bondage. 

But new attitudes about the blind 
have come into being. They exist side by 
side with the old and compete with them 
for public acceptance and belief. Between 
tlie two there is vast distance and no 
quarter. As an example consider the 
following quotation: "Tjre real. problem of 
blindness is not the loss of eyesight. The 
real problem is tlie misunderstanding and 

lack of information which exist. If a bhnd 
person has proper training and if he has 
opportunity, blindness is only a physical 

That is a quotation from an 
administrator in the field of work witli the 
blind. Here is another quotation from 
another official: "We must not perpetuate 
the myth that bhndness is not a tragedy. 
For each person who has learned to live an 
active, fruitful hfe despite blindness, there 
are thousands whose lives have lost all 
meaning ... A blind person can't be 
rehabihtated as a crippled person may be. 
You can give a [crippled] man mobihty, 
but tliere is no substitute for sight. ""^ 

Those two quotations represent tlie 
considered judgements of two 
professionals in the field of services to the 
blind. The statements are squarely 
contradictory. If one of them is true, the 
otiier must be false. Which are we to 
believe? There is no doubt as to which of 
the two would win a public opinion poll. 
The more popular by far is the second-the 
one that repudiates as a shocking fiction 
the very idea that bhndness is anything 
less than a total tragedy. 

Let us take note in passing of the 
peculiar tone of finality and conviction in 
which this second statement-the "hard 
line" on bhndness-is expressed. I believe 
there is a striking irony in it which all of 
us would do well to recognize, for it 
conveys the distinct impression that there 
is some tiling cruel and unfair to blind 
people in the mere-nuisance concept of 
blindness, as opposed to the evidently 
kinder and fairer portrayal of the 
condition as an overwhelming disaster. 

The difference between these two 


perspectives on blindness is not merely 
that one is optimistic and the other 
pessimistic. There is more to it than that. 
The crucial difference is that one view 
minimizes the consequences of the 
physical disability and actively rejects the 
notion that blind persons are somehow 
"different." Its emphasis is upon the 
normality of the blind, their similarity and 
common identity with others, their 
potential equality, and their right to free 
and full participation in all the regular 
pursuits and pastimes of their society. The 
accent here, in a word, is affirmative: it is 
upbeat, dynamic, rehabiUtative. It makes 
much of opportunity and capacity and 
does not dwell on deprivation and 

By conti^ast the other point of 
view-which we miglit call the "disaster" 
concept— deliberately maximizes the 
effects of blindness: physically, 
psychologically, emotionally, and socially. 
Its emphasis is upon what is missing rather 
than what can be done-upon lacks and 
losses rather than upon capacities imd 
strengths. Blindness, these spokesmen are 
inclined to tell us, is a kind of "dying;"-^ 
and those who are blind (so we are 
repeatedly informed) are abnowial-they 
are different— th^y are dependent-they are 
deprived-they are iuferior-a.nd above all, 
they are unfortunate. The accent here, in a 
word, is negative. It is downbeat, 
pessimistic,' professionally condescending, 
frequently sanctimonious, and ultimately 

1 submit that this disaster concept of 
blindness is not only a popular opinion 
iunong professionals and the pubhc today. 
It is, v.'ith only a httle updating and 
slreaniiining, the ancient myth of 
blindness--the classic image of the blind 

man as a tragic figure. Let me be clear 
about this use of the term "tragic." In its 
classical sense, tragedy is not mere 
unhappiness. It does not refer to 
accidental misfortune or hmited harm, 
jWhich can sensibly be overcome. Tragedy 
involves a sentence of doom, a dire 
destiny, which one can only confront in 
all its unalterable terror but can never 
hope to transcend. The sense of tragedy, 
in short, is the sense of calamity-to which 
the only appropriate response is 
resignation and despair. These words of 
Bertrand Russell convey the mood 
exactly: "On such a firm foundation of 
unyielding despair must the soul's 
habitation henceforth securely be built." 

How does the tragic view of blindness 
find expression in modern society? I 
would answer that it takes two forms: 
among the pubhc it takes one form, and 
among professionals another. On the 
public and popular side, it tends to be 
conveyed through images of total 
dependency and deprivation-images, that 
is, of the "helpless blind man." A typical 
recent example occurred on the 
well-known TV program, "Password," in 
which a number of contestants take turns 
guessing at secret words through 
synonyms and verbal associations. On one 
such show the key word to be guessed was 
"cup." The first cue word offered was 
"tin;" but the guesser failed to make the 
connection. The next cue word given was 
"blind"-which immediately brought the 
response "cup." There you have it: for all 
our rehabihtation, all our education, and 
all our progress, what comes to the mind 
of the man in the street when he thinks of 
a bhnd person is the tin cup of the beggar! 

Not only to the man in tlie street-it 
also comes, with a slight twist, to the mind 


of the lady in the newspaper advice 
column. "Dear Ann Landers," read a 
recent letter to the well-known oracle anil 
advisor by that name: 

/ lost my sight when I was eight and I 
have a wife and three children. It's very 
hard for a blind man to make a living 
because nobody wants to hire me. So I do 
the next best thing. I sit on the corner 
with a cup and sell pencils. We have moved 
to several different cities and have done all 
right. In this town two cops have told me 
that begging is against the law and to get 
moving. Why should there be a law against 
a man trying to make a living? My wife is 
writing this for me and we need a fast 
answer so please hurry. Signed, Tough 

To which Ann Landers says: "No one 
needs to beg in America. There are 
countless welfare organizations who will 
help you. Write to American Foundation 
for the Blind. . . ." 

That seems at first glance to be a 
hopeful and constructive suggestion. But 
take another look: what the lady is 
suggesting is that tlie bhnd man go on 
welfare-that the only organizations that 
can help him are welfare agencies! Here is 
a man who, by his own word, is only 
trying to make a living. His problem is that 
no one has iiired him and that he has 
apparently not had adequate training, 
encouragement, and orientation; so he is 
making a living tlie hard way. But, to the 
lady columnist, his blindness is the 
problem. It rules him out of the job 
market and onto tiie charity rolls. It never 
even occurs to her that he might seek 
rehabilitation, or tl\at it might be available 
to him. 

Ann Landers, of course, is not a 
professional counseling psychologist or 
social-work speciaUst. But slie might as 
well be. As it happens, there is no clear 
Une of demarcation between the popular 
stereotypes about blindness and tlie 
supposedly more learned conceptions of 
many professionals in work with the blind. 
A remarkaMe illustration of assumptions 
shared in both worlds is to be found in the 
unbelievable shenanigans of a fascinating 
philanthropic organization called the 
Stevens Brothers Foundation of St. Paul, 
Minnesota. In a circular letter sent to "all 
State Supervisors of the Blind" (note that 
wording), under recent date, the director 
of the Foundation wrote as follows: 

Our activities for aid to the Blind for 
next year will consist of sending samples 
of some of the following items for which 
we luive made application for Patents, 
Registered Copyrights and Trademarks. 

Templet-Giant Embossed Telephone Dial 

for the Blind 

E-Z-l Dropper and Washer for tlie Blind 

Goldletring-Silverletring on Dark 
Background for the Industrial Blind 

Emergency Whistle for the Blind (and to 
protect women in emergencies) 

Nonskid Barrosette Icegrips for the Blind 

Koffeemugg for the Blind 

Solesatisfier for Aching Feet of the Blind 

National Uniform for the Blind 

Organization to Investigate the Attributes 
and Skills of Blind flying Bats Insofar as 


///CM' liuiy he applicable to the Blind 

RoclKcnvhcel Knitcli for the Crippled. 
Lame and Jlliiid 

My Lord and Ladyships Personal 
Mechanical Valet for the Blind 

Lskeynio Bonnet 

Buttonon Necktie for the Blind 

Children's Fabrique for Finger 
L telling— El! tertainment--Co?nmercial 
Tnyniakers for the Blind 

Wraparound Overcoat Tails-Leg Warmers 
for the Blind [and] 

Wraparound and Fastennp Mufjler Warmer 
J'or the Blind, 

Pervading this ludicrous if 
well-intentioned catalog of artificial aids 
and fantastic gimcracks is tlie assumption 
lliat the tragic plight of the blind leaves 
them helpless to do anything at all for 
til em selves without a battery of 
;',adgets-not even tie their ties, handle liie 
telephone, lift an ordinary coffee cup, 
appear in public without a special 
identifying luiiforrn, walk on icy surfaces 
or without aching feet-or even walk 
without a "krutch," such as needed by the 
crippled and lame! 

if any doubt remains concerning the 
atliliide of the Stevens Brothere toward 
those whom they seek to help, it is set at 
rest by t!ic concluding paragraph of their 
letter: "Our experience has been that we 
have found those patients who use their 
Signature ajid Envelope Addresser Cards 
learn very ipuckly iiow to use the 
Letter! ter and we hope that you have the 

same success in training )'our Blind in 
using these Cards." Blind persons, it would 
seem, iire to be regarded as 
"patiei;:..'"--who, despite their dreadful 
infimiity, "learn very iiuickly" to operate 
simple gadgets-tliat is, ''our blind" do so, 
and it is hoped that ''your bhnd" may be 
trained to do likewise. 

There may be those who would 
dismiss this rigmarole as merely the work 
of a hannless crank, not to be taken 
seriously by anyone in a position of 
authority or respectability. Would that it 
were so. But the most astonishing thing 
about the exploits of the Stevens Brothers 
of St. Paul is that they have been found 
acceptable by a high official of the Federal 
Department of Health, Education, and 
Welfare. In fact, he recommends that the 
philanthropists send their materials to the 
American Foundation for the Blind and 
the American Printing House for t!ie 
Blind. And this same official, 
coincidentally, has maintained on more 
than one occasion that blindness can not 
be regarded as an inconvenience but must 
be faced up to as im unmitigated disaster. 

Yet, is it only coincidence that the 
man who rejects the nuisance-concept in 
favor of the disaster-concept of blindness 
should also be the man who finds 
acceptable the frivolous gimmicks of the 
Stevens Brothers? Perhaps; but 1 think 
not. I believe there is a direct connection 
between the philosophy and the practice, 
between the theoiy and the behavior. 
Feeling as he does that the blind are truly 
different-that they are, in the words of a 
recent article "socially isolated" from 
others and trapped forever in the tragedy 
of their dark fate-feeling this, what could 
be more natural than the idea of filling 
their empty and separate world with toys 


and games, with wrapai-ound tails, and 
funny uniforms? 

Nor does this government official 
stand alone in his acceptance of the work 
of the Stevens Brothers A Veritable flood 
of congratulatory lettei-s came to the St. 
Paul philanthropists both from here and 
abroad in response to their overtures, and 
were immediately circulated by the 
hundreds and thousands to public agencies 
and government officials tln-oughout the 
world to add respectability to what 
othei^vi'ise would have appeared as sheer 
nonsense or fantastic lunacy. Here is a 
typical letter from a state director of 
services to the bhnd: 

We shall be very honored, indeed^ to 
act as your agent in distributing these aids 
to the blind persons in schools and 
institutions. CongratiUations on your 

exploration into other possible aids and 
areas where some aid or benefit could 
result to lessen the handicap of blindness. 
Best wishes to you for continued success 
in your efforts, and may health and 
happiness be yours in great abundance 

Here is another, from the head of 
sen'ices to the blind m a different state: 
"We will be happy to participate iij the 
distribution of the material for the bhnd 
which you have been sending us. . . .^e 
feel the material which you so generously 
are providing will be very beneficial to thC- 
blind " 

Here is another, from a workshop for 
the blind in Bombay, India: "Words are 
inadequate to express our deep sense of 
gratitude for your generosity and willing 
assistance in promoting the cause of the 
welfare of the blind." 

Here is yet another, from the director 
of the Nak-Tong Revival Home in Pusan, 

Once again the Thanksgiving Season 
ushered out the Autumn and brings in the 
Winter, with the turkey steps forward. 
Furthennore, it's most richest season for 
us mankind, with poverty averting her 
head and will not spoil the feast of 
harvest. . . . While we who lost touch love 
again and workers pause to pray, the 
children and adult patients of the 
Nak-Tong Revival Home should like to 
extend their sincere greetings to the 
benefactors like yourself for their goodwill 
during the past year 

There are many other letters besides; 
but none of them, I feel, can top that! 
Surely all of these professionals, who take 
such delight in the toys and gadgets of the 
Stevens Brothers, would subscribe to the 
philosophy of one of their colleagues, as 
uttered some years ago! 

To dance and sing, to play and act, to 
swim, bowl and roller-skate, to work 
creatively in clay, wood, aluminum or tin, 
to make dresses, to join in group readings 
or discussions, to have entertainments and 
parties, to engage in many other activities 
of one's own choosing-this is to fill the 
life of any one with the things that make 
life worth living ^ 

Let me remind you of the way in 
whicii Dj. Jacobus tenBroek, then in his 
prime as president of the National 
Federation of the Bhnd, responded to that 
statement In one of his great convention 
speeches, "Within the Grace of God," he 
quoted the passage and went on to say 


Are these the things that make life 
worth living for you? Only the benevolent 
keeper of an asylum could make this 
remark-only a person who views blindness 
as a tragedy which can be somewhat 
mitigated by little touches of kindness and 
service to help pass the idle hours but 
which cannot be overcome Some of these 
things may be suitable accessories to a life 
well filled with other things-a home, a 
job, and the rights and responsibilities of 
citizenship, for example 

The point I am seeking to make now 
is the very same point that Dr. tenBroek 
was seeking to make then. There are two 
opposing conceptions of the nature of 
bhndness at large in the world. One of 
them holds that it is a nuisance, and the 
other that it is a disaster. I think it is clear 
that the disaster concept is widespread 
alike in popular culture and in the learned 
culture of tlie professionals. Moreover, I 
would submit that the concept itself is the 
real disaster-the only real disaster that we 
as bhnd people have to live with-and that 
when we can overcome this monstrous 
misconception, we shall ring down the 
curtain forever on the fictional drama 
entitled "The Tragedy of Blindness." 

"up to"! and follow successful careers, 
such cases are unusual. Since 
unemployment has always been a factor in 
our economy, there are not many posts 
available. We lack the industries with the 
necessary repetitive machinery on which 
the blind can safely work 

All that needs to be remarked about 
that dreary pronouncement is that it 
heavily reinforces the defeatist notion that 
bhnd persons in general (those who are 
not pecuharly stubborn and exceptional) 
should give up any idea of pursuing a 
normal trade or even of attaining an 
ordinary education, and should resign 
themselves to the prospect (itself not too 
hkely) that society in its kindness may be 
willing to set aside enough repetitive and 
mechanical chores to take care of most of 
them, in penury and penitence. 

If you think this dai^k picture reflects 
only the bogs and mists of old Ireland, 
consider this letter from the Dean of 
Admissions of Oral Roberts University, of 
Tulsa, Oklahoma, written not in the last 
century or even ten years ago but on May 
27, 1970, to a bhnd apphcant for 

In order to emphasize still further the 
full extent to which the disaster 
concept--the tragic sense of 
blindness-prevails among the professionals 
in our field, let me introduce in evidence 
another exhibit. It is a comment from 
overseas by an official of the National 
Council for the Blind of Ireland. This is 
what he says of the blind people of his 

Although the exceptional and 
stubborn can learn a trade or pursue an 
education up to university level [note that 

Dear Blank: 

We have received your application for 
admission and are very impressed with the 
academic record you have estabUshed in 
high school. 

In checking your application I notice 
that you are blind. At this time, ORU does 
not have the facilities to accommodate 
blind students. Tliere is a possibiUty that 
some type of program will be initiated in 
future years: however, at this time, I regret 
that we will be unable to admit you. 


// you have any questions, please let 
me know We will be praying with you 
that the Lord will guide and direct you. 

Cordially yours . . . 

There it is again. One's academic 
record is impressive, says the Dean; 
ordinai'ily it would constitute the sole and 
sufficient evidence of capability. But 
unfortunately it appears that one is blind; 
therefore the academic record, however 
impressive, is suddenly irrelevant, 
incompetent, and immaterial. For the 
university, says the Dean, does not have 
the "facilities" to accommodate bUnd 
students-whatever those facilities might 
be. Never mind that there are not, should 
not, and need not be any such facilities, 
any special aids or instruments, anywhere 
that blind college students matriculate. 
Someday, says the Dean, there might be 
"some type of program;" in the meantime, 
we shall pray that others may possess 
more faith, hope, and charity thaji we at 
Oral Roberts Christian University. 

The Ufe of a blind person, in this 
considered spiritual view, is tiierefore a Ufe 
without meaning-just as it is in the secular 
view of the Stevens Brothers. Fill it with 
whistles and tricks, wraparound tails and 
funny unifonns-but do not undertake to 
enrich it with higher education or imbue it 
with serious purpose. 

To the deans of small faith and their 
Uke-minded ilk, to the Landers sisters and 
the Stevens brothers and their relatives 
everywhere, we have not progressed at all 
beyond the outlook of the primitive 
Mediterranean society, thousands of years 
ago, among whom it was a common saying 
that "the bhnd man is as one dead." 

How are we to reply to these 
prophets of gloom and doom, who cry 
havoc and have nothing to offer us but 
whistles in the dark? We might use logic or 
theory. We might use history or precept. 
But the simplest and most effective 
argument comes from our own experience 
as blind people. Everything which we are 
and which we have become rises up to give 
the he to the disaster concept of bhndness. 
We, the blind people of this country, are 
now working as fanners, lawyers, scientists 
and laborers; as teachers, mechanics, 
engineers and businessmen. We are now 
functioning in all of the various 
professions, trades and callings of the 
regular community. We do not regard our 
hves, as we live them on a day-to-day 
basis, as tragic or disastrous-and no 
amount of professional jargon or 
trumped-up theory can make us do so. We 
know that with training and opportunity 
we can compete on terms of equality with 
our sighted neighbors-and that blindness 
is merely a physical nuisance. 

The blind people of yesterday, and 
the day before yesterday, had little choice 
but to accept the tragic view of the 
gloom-and-doom mongers-the prophets of 
despair. Their horizons were limited to the 
bounty of charity, and their world was 
bounded by the sheltered workhouse. At 
ever>' turn they were reminded of their 
infirmity; on every occasion they were 
coaxed into immobility and dependency. 
It is no wonder that they fulfilled the 
prophecy of despair; believing it 
themselves, they made it come true. 

But that was another time, another 
era, another world. We the blind people of 
today have carried out a revolution, and 
•have won our independence. We have won 
it by finding our own voice, finding our 


own direction-and finding our own 
doctrine. Tliat doctrine may be simply 
stated: it is that the blind are normal 
people who can not see. It is that 
blindness is not a dying-but a challenge to 
make a new life. It is also that there are 
none so blind as those who will not see 
this simple truth. 

The blind people of today, in a word, 
were not bom yesterday. We who are 
Wind do not accept the tragic prophecies 
of a dire fate. We have a rendezvous with a 
different destiny. The destiny we go to 

meet is that of integration and equality--of 
high achievement and full participation--of 
free movement and unrestricted 
opportunity in a friendly land which is 
already beginning to accept us for what we 

That is where the blind are leading 
the bhnd. Let those who would resist or 
deny that destiny remain beliind, 
imprisoned in their own antique myths 
and images-while the rest of us move on 
to new adventure and higher ground. 


1. Iowa Commission for the Blind, What 
Is The Iowa Conunissioii For the 
BUiid'/ PubHshed by the State of 
Iowa, Des Moines, n.d. 

2. Dr. Jules Stein, "Blindness Study 
Urged By Doctor" New York Times, 
November 19, 1967, Page 19. 

3. Reverend Thomas J. Carroll, 
Blindness: What It Is, What It Does 
And How To Live with It (Boston: 
Little Brown and Company, 1961). 

Philip S. Piatt, "Challenges of 
Voluntary Agencies for the Blind." 
Paper read at convention of the 
American Association of Workers for 
the Blind, June 26, 1951, Page 8. 

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, "Within The 
Grace Of God," An Address 
Dehvered at the Banquet of the 
Annual Convention of the National 
Federation of the Blind held in San 
Francisco, July 1, 1956. 




Xena E. Johnson 

The annual meeting of the 
Correspondents of The Braille Monitor, 
took place in the Minnesota Room with 
Lawrence Marcelino serving as the 
Chairman. Perry Sundquist. Editor and 
Hazel tenBroek, Associate Editor, the 
other two members of the committee, 
took turns making statements and 
answering questions. About seventy-live 
persons were present and look part in the 

Mr. Sundquist. who stated tliat he 
and Mrs. tenBroek had been editing The 
Braille Monitor for tlie past two years, 
declared tlie rheme of the 1970 meeting 
was to be "What's \\'rong or What's Right 
with Our Braille MonitorV The purpose 
of The Braille Monitor is to promote the 
policies and beliefs of the National 
Federation of tlie Bhnd; to promote and 
strengthen tlie state affiliates by reporting 
on conventions, not only the annual 
national meeting but all state conventions; 
to report on the many activities of the 
NEB in all fields, particularly in the fields 
of fund raising and programs of the 
affiliates; and to relate stories of both 
successes and failures of blind people in 
their attempts at becoming self-sustaining 
citizens. Over the past two yeai^s sixteen 
"Do-It-Yourself items have appeared in 
the pages of this moutlipiece of the 
National Federation. Just recently the 
Monitor carried a list of affiliates 
publishing some kind of magazine, 
newsletter or bulletin and in this way 
immediately found that one had been 
overlooked--Ohio's pubhcation. The 
publication of the various means of 
communication of the states has already 

stimulated interest in other states 
beginning to ask "How" and at this 
meeting Evelyn Wcckerly of Michigan said 
that her State is expecting to re-establish 
tlicir publication iuid that right now they 
are amning a contest to find a catchy 
name. Mr. Vinson of Houston, Texas, 
reported that tlie Blue Bonnet Federation 
is planning to discuss the establishment of 
a State publication at their fail State 
convention. Mr. Lev Williams of Memphis, 
Tennessee, said that although their 
organization is only one year old and 
finances are very important to them, they 
realize they do have to get a publication 
going. He asked many questions on how to 
got mailing done, what to put in such a 
publication, and he said that they must 
soon begin ti;e publication of something 
for their members. 

Mr. Sundquist had already stated that 
tlie Monitor was the most important 
means of distributing information between 
conventions and Mrs. tenBroek stated 
furtlier, "It is ridiculous that we now have 
forty-three state affiliates • and only 
seventeen publications of any kind." She 
said it is time the rest of the states get 
something started. 

Editor Sundquist said it is the policy 
of the National Federation of the Blind 
that Tlie Braille Monitor is the basic means 
of bringing people together and the 
Budget and Finance Committee considers 
this such an important function of the 
NEB that one-third of the budget is spent 
on publications including the Monitor and 
the presidential releases. He siiid he 
wanted each state to become interested 



enougli to send in promptly the names and 
addresses of all new members and 
especially changes of officers. It was 
suggested from the audience that eveiyone 
thought the listing two years ago of all 
state presidents was important ajid that 
along with that a list of all National 
Federation officers with addresses, phone 
numbers and zip codes would be 
extremely helpful in the work of the 
affiliates. Botli the editor and the associate 
editor stressed the importance of sending 
in the changes of address to the Berkeley 
office when a reader dies or discontinues 
using tlie Monitor for it is expensive to 
carry names when the publication is not 
read or passed on to someone who will 
read it. 

A most interesting participant was E. 
V. Joseph, from Kerala State, India. He 
commented on the usefulness of The 
Braille Monitor but criticized the fonn of 
binding the inkprint edition. He suggested 
it should be bound together like other 
inkprint or slick magazines. The 
committee said this was a matter of 
economy and to bind it like otlier inkprint 
magazines would add considerable 
expense. He stated he had requested a 
copy from the Canadian Institute for the 
Blind but had not been successful and 
wanted to know the reason; whereupon it 
was reported that CIB had even requested 
having its name removed from the mailing 
list in recent years. The comment was 
made that a recent article, "What 
Welfare?" had been an exceptionally good 
article. Al Jenkins inquired about 
particular landmark articles which have 
appeared over the years in the Monitor 
and asked if thought had been given to 
compiling outstanding speeches of Dr. 
tenBroek and other documentary articles 
in one volume for convenience and for use 

in the years to come. The group was 
informed that at this time the NFB is in 
tlie process of taping the speeches of Dr. 

Editor Sundquist again urged the 
various states to send in personal items as 
well as lists of officers and members. The 
matter of the "Monitor Miniatures" or 
Moni-Mins as he fondly called them was 
discussed and many persons said that they 
turn to that section first to see what has 
happened around the country. Several 
asked that the miniatures be increased 
when it was at all possible. The editor 
stated he reads most of the time and 
subscribes to a news service but finds it is 
not too successful or relative to our own 

Dr. Isabelle L. D. Grant stated there 
would soon appear The Braille 
International, the mouthpiece of the 
International Federation of the Blind but 
she wants publicly to thank The Braille 
Monitor for all the news and information 
it has published in behalf of the IFB. 

It was stated from the audience that 
the Washington Report was soon to be 
published in braille. Mr. Sundquist said it 
would be too voluminous for most people 
to get much good out of. This, of course, 
would be a source of legislative news on 
the national front, but the audience was 
reminded of the many presidential releases 
and articles appearing in the Monitor 
which should be sufficient for all affiliates. 
The editor said that he would like to be 
kept informed of any important legislative 
accomplishments at the state level. 

Mr. Marcelino said he is presently 
editing the California Council Bulletin, 
and he offered to exchange with any state 


alYiliate and would appreciate it if all state 
affiliates would send him a copy of their 
publication. He will send the Council 
Bulletin to anyone requesting it. 

It was stated that the Minnesota 
people had been publishing the Minnesota 
Bulletin since the year 1934 and are now 
getting out 185 to 190 copies of either "a 
feel-able" or "see-able" publication, which 
is now in its 36th volume. The editor is 
ArcWe Erickson. It is expensive but they 
find it helps in their fundraising, 
infonnation services and is worth the 
outlay of both effort and funds, and, as 
far as his own compensation, he said he 
had a big fat pocket quite empty since he 
is not paid for his work. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fillinger of Ohio said 
they make a nominal charge in Ohio for 
their State publication. Most persons 
present, especially those engaged in 
publishing any sort of report, from a 
two-page folder to larger ones, all felt it is 
better to spend money on this facet of 
their work and furnish the publication free 
to members. New adventurers in this field 
were told to get a mailing permit from 
tlieir local post offices and find out aU tlie 
rules from their local postal authorities 
before plunging into their project for large 
size print may be sent postage free under 
present mailing privileges (fourteen point 
type). North Carolina, a newly organized 
affiliate has already secured a large type 
typewriter and is maihng its newsletter as 

frot" fcading matter for the blind. Since all 
their workers aie volunteers, they are 
spending ver\' httle at present but are 
reaching a good many people with their 
message . 

The possibility of putting a 
newsletter on cassettes was mentioned. 
The Virginia affiliate sends some 
newsletters in this manner. Many persons 
told how their legislative communications 
ran all the way from chain telephoning to 
mimeographed notices. 

Mr. Sundquist stated that although 
both national and state conventions are 
exciting and something to look forward 
to, the real grass roots of the organized 
blind movement lies in the work done in 
individual chapters of each affiliate and 
that this is the news he would like to get. 

Martha Seabrooks of Baltimore, 
iMar^'land repeated the announcement that 
the Social Security Administration, 
Baltimore, Maryland 21235 will give all 
information to a blind person in braille, 
when requested to do so. 

In conclusion, this reporter would 
summarize the tlieme of the 1970 
Correspondents Committee meeting-not 
so much what is wrong with The Braille 
Monitor as what is right with it. It is a 
publication spreading the good news about 
tlie organized blind movement both at 
home and abroad! 



Adopted by the Convention 

Assembled in Minneapolis, Minnesota 

July 4-7, 1970 


WHEREAS, The National Federation of 
the Blind has within its membership 
through its state affiliates throughput the 
nation a representative group of blind 
persons typical of the blind residents of 
each area served by many centers for the 
blind; and 

WHEREAS, private agency centers for the 
bhnd are maintained by public funds 
specifically given to help blind persons; 
now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this 
organization adopts the following 
statement concerning the operation of 
many centers for the bhnd in the United 

Rehabilitation of the bhnd in its truest 
sense means the restoration of the 
individual to the highest potential of 
self-sufficiency of which he is ca,pable, 
with the goal of full integratipii into 
society. Centers for the blind should gear 
their programs so as to provide that 
philosophy and those opportunities and 
services designed to assist their bUnd 
clients to make physical, social and 
ecpSlJ/amic adjustment in order to ael^ieve 
that goal. Specifically, this involves five 
basic approaches: 

First, centers should actively eijcpurage 

aiid promote organization of the blind as 
the ultimately effective means to 
significant solutions to the problems of 
sightless persons in our land. To this end 
bUnd persons should be encouraged to 
become affiliated with independent 
organizations of the blind. 

Second, all positions in connection with 
the operation of the centers, board and 
staff, sliould be open freely to qualified 
blind persons and because of their 
particular interest and knowledge of the 
problems incident to bhndness, such 
persons should be given preference in 
filling such positions. Only a person who 
has actually experienced blindness can 
know fully the needs of his fellow blind 
and the most effective ways to meet those 
needs. A majority of the voting 
membership of each center, as well as at 
least a majority of its board of directors, 
should be comprised of visually 
handicapped persons and at least half of 
the paid staff should be bhnd persons. It is 
imperative that center policies be reached 
only after consultation with the organized 
bhnd in their areas. It is highly desirable if 
not essential to the attainment of these 
purposes that the staff members in such 
centers demonstrate their interest in and 
knowledge of the needs of the bhnd by 
their participation iii! the organized blind 

Third, centers should actively encourage 
and assist their clients to broaden their 


social contacts and interests by becoming 
active in groups in tiie larger sighted 
community other than the pursuit of 
economic interests. The maximum degree 
of mobility possible is essential in this 

Fourth, centers should maintain a rich 
program of educational and avocational 
courses, including mobility training, 
braille, typing and personal adjustment. 

Fifth, all activities of these centers should 
be conducted in such a manner as will 
actively foster the independence and 
self-determination of their blind clients. 

A basic program consisting of these 
essential elements will enable centers for 
the blind throughout the United States to 
more adequately serve the sightless 
citizens of their areas. 


WHEREAS, it is recognized that a proper 
division of labor is the best indicator of a 
mature and healthy society; and 

WHEREAS, specialization enables the 
gifted individual to develop and reahze his 
genius and the average person to develop 
and reahze his individuality; and 

WHEREAS, it is also recognized that 
excessive specialization creates the 
purposeless technician, tiie machine tender 
and tlie effete academician--in short, the 
horde of cultural illiterates and expert 
ignoramuses; and 

WHEREAS, work for the blind 
exemplifies this trend; and 

WHEREAS, several universities offer the 
masters degree in "peripatology" and the 
doctorate in "special education-vision" 
and many college curricula offer such 
courses as "the psychology of bhndness," 
all of which foster a public image of the 
blind that is incompatible with tiie 
integration of the sightless into society; 


WHHREAS, what most agencies would call 
specialization is in reality custodiahzation 
by another name; for example, in 
September, 1969, a qualified blind student 
was required to accept rehabilitation 
services from the State of Illinois in order 
to be admitted into the Graduate School 
of the University of Illinois and only 
avoided this big brotherly, bureaucratic 
usurpation of authority when he informed 
the University that he would seek legal 
redress; and 

WHEREAS, such a condition is a serious 
infringement upon the freedom of choice 
of the disabled, since in all hkelihood in 
the beginning disabled students would be 
requested to attend these universities and 
later would be required to enroll in them; 

WHEREAS, such a policy constitutes a 
violation of basic constitutional rights and 
defeats the very purpose of rehabiUtation; 
now, therefore, be it 


RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that the President 
be authorized to establish a committee for 

the purpose of developing a position paper 
on this and related matters, said 
committee to report to the National 
Convention in 1971. 


WHEREAS, since the organization of our 
Student Division the National Federation 
of the Blind has come to recognize the 
vital role played by youth in the organized 
blind movement; and 

WHEREAS, the future of our movement, 
national and international, depends upon 
attracting young people to our cause, and 
giving to them an opportunity for the kind 
of training and experience necessaiy to 
carry it on; and 

WHEREAS, the International Federation 
of the Blind, though a very new 
organization, has already attracted 
considerable international attention, 
particularly among young people, even 
diough it has not as yet established a 
youth division; now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this 
organization recommends to the 
International Federation of the Blind that 
it seek to form an international youth- 

division. This Federation pledges all 
possible assistance and support to the 
International Federation in this endeavor. 
We suggest that the following are among 
the goals to be given consideration: 

1. To vitalize and strengthen the 
International Federation of the Bhnd by 
drawing into it new members and possibly 
new affiliate countries; 

2. To provide leadership training for 
the young adults in the IFB; 

3. To lead to international exchange 
of information concerning the economic, 
educational, social and cultural position 
and problems of the blind hi various 

4. To enable greater international 
understanding and cooperation through 
correspondence between the young adult 
blind in various countries; and 

5. To lead to cultural exchange of 
blind students and groups of young adults 
between countries. 



WHEREAS, professional foreign exchange 
in the fields of law, education and social 
welfare as well as other professions 
enhances international understanding and 
broadens human relationships; and 

WHEREAS, present practices in the field 
of foreign exchange among the professions 
tend to discriminate against blind persons 
strictly on the basis of their lack of sight, 
reflecting misconceptions about blindness; 
now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled tliis 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this 
organization instructs its President to 

bring this matter to the attention of tlie 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs of the Department of State in 
order to urge that the Department of State 
commence exchanges of blind persons 
with their foreign counteiparts, both 
sighted and blind; and be it further 

RESOLVED that the President also 
negotiate with such agencies as the Bureau 
of African Affairs, and the Asia 
Foundation, to promote such exchanges; 
and be it further 

RESOLVED that encouragement be given 
to such organizations as the American 
Friends Sei-vice Committee to promote the 
exchange of young blind persons as well. 


WHEREAS, the National Federation of 
the Blmd has established an Endowment 
Fund for the purpose of building capital 
to provide income to finance the work of 
the Federation; and 

WHEREAS, it is vital to the blind of the 
nation that this Federation have sufficient 
funds to finance its great work for the 
lilind, not only in the present day but 
through whatever uncertainties that may 
be found in tlie years to come; and 

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that 
every bhnd person in the United States 
manifest his commitment to the National 
Federation; now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of tiie Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this 
Federation urges all of its state affiliates, 
all of its affilate chapters, and all of its 
members actively to conduct a program of 
fundraising for the Jacobus tenBroek 
Endowment Fund of the National 
Federation of the Blind; and be it further 

RESOLVED that at every convention of 
every affiliate pledges of donations be 
requested, donations be collected from 
individuals attending, and appropriations 
for the Jacobus tenBroek Endowment 
Fund be voted; and be it further 


RESOLVED that all affiliates, all chapters, 
and all leaders in the organized blind 
movement assume and carry out the 

responsibility for making this undertaking 


WHEREAS, the bUnd of the nation 
continue to experience serious 
discrimination in employment, housing, 
public accommodations, public 
transportation, places of amusement and 
resort, and in access to other public 
,53jogr,inis> gn'd facilities; now, therefore, be 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this 
Federation seek to secure the adoption of 
the Model White Cane Law by the 
Congress of the United States. 


WHEREAS, every blind and physically 
•handicapped person in the country who 
uses library services has experienced 
difficulty and delay in the delivery of 
braille, recorded and large print materials 
from the Library of Congress and the 
various regional hbraries; and 

WHEREAS, the Library of Congress, 
Division for the Blind and Physically 
Handicapped, and the various regional 
hbraries, ;have all experienced frequent 
difficulties in distributing materials that 
have been properly prepared and 
dispatched for mailing; and 

WHEREAS, the redefinition of free 
mailing privileges has increased the volume 
of mail so classified, and whereas, at the 
same time, the efficiency of processing 

and delivery of such material has 
decreased; and 

WHEREAS, the conditions of modern 
living depend on the expedient 
dissemination of information; and 

WHEREAS, blind and physically 
handicapped ci tizens--students, 
professional workers, and the general 
reading pubhc-and the Hbraries servicing 
them depend on the Post Office 
Department for the expeditious 
dissemination of such informational 
materials; now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that tliis 


organization directs its officers and staff 
to assist the Library of Congress, Division 
for the BUnd and Physically Handicapped, 
to negotiate with the Post Office 
Department to: 

1 . Increase the awareness of all postal 
employees as to the importance of prompt 
and accurate processing and delivery of all 
materials for the blind and physically 

2. Make any improvements in the 
identification of such materials which will 
facilitate prompt and accurate processing 
and delivery, including such devices as 

color coded labels or stamps; 

3. Develop well defined systems and 
methods for prompt, regular pick-up of 
materials from hbraries and individuals; 

4. Recommend that Congress 
upgrade the mail classification of materials 
for blind and physically handicapped 

5. Take whatever other steps may be 
deemed necessar\' to bring mail service to 
blind and physically handicapped citizens 
up to the level of service enjoyed by other 


WHEREAS, The National Federation of 
the Blind has long sought through 
legislation and other means to extend to 
blind workers in sheltered workshops tlie 
minimum wage provisions now guaranteed 
to most other workers by the Fair Labor 
Standards Act; and 

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO and other 
groups of organized labor have pledged 
their support to these goals and have 
promised their assistance in acliieving 
them; now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 

Minneapolis! Minnesota, that this 
organization expresses its appreciation to 
organized labor; and be it further 

RESOLVED that this Federation calls 
upon organized labor for their continued 
support in our effort to achieve the 
minimum wage for blind workers 
including financial support of those blind 
workers who find it necessary to strike in 
furtherance of their legitimate aims; and 
be it further 

RESOLVED that the officers of this 
Federation explore with organized labor 
the possibility of establishing a fund for 
this purpose. 



WHEREAS, tlie Wagner-O'Day Act was 
adopted by Congress in 1938 for the 
purpose of providing employment 
opportunities for blind people; and 

WHEREAS, under this Congressionally 
created program, sheltered workshops for 
the blind are authorized to make products 
for the Federal government; and 

WHEREAS, a committee on blind-made 
products functions to implement the 
provisions of the Wagner-O'Day Act; and 

WHEREAS, the committee on bUnd-made 
products, acting by authority of the 
Wagner-O'Day Act, promulgated 
regulations, a section of which has been 
interpreted by said committee to the great 
disadvantage of blind people; and 

WHEREAS, this interpretation declared 
tliat the 75% blind labor requirements on 
work done under the Wagner-O'Day Act 
does not mean there must be 75% bhnd 
labor on any, every, and each job done for 
the- Federal government in 

blind-employing slieltered workshops but 
means 75% of the work done in the full 
business year in sheltered workshops must 
be blind labor; and 

WHEREAS, as a result of this most 
restrictive interpretation, it is possible for 
a blind employee sheltered workshop 
doing work under the Wagner-O'Day Act 
to have only sighted workers perform all 
work on particular jobs, and, when 
business falls off, to lure sighted workers 
at the same time bhnd workers are being 
laid off for lack of work in the shop; now, 
tlierefore, be it 

RESOLVED by the National Federation 
of the Blind in convention assembled this 
7th day of July, 1970, in the city of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this 
organization deplores and condemns this 
unfair to bhnd people 75% bhnd-labor 
interpretation of the committee on 
bhnd-made products and directs its 
officers to take such actions as the 
President deems necessary to secure 
rescinding of this disastrous interpretation. 


Jim Omvig 

It has been observed that "the law is 
an ass." I suspect that those of us 
assembled here today ought not take so 
dim a view of the system of law under 
which we must live our lives and transact 
our daily affairs, but some other and less 

damning observations might be made 
about it. 

The law is complicated and complex. 
It is highly structured and regimented. It 
often presents what attorneys refer to as 


"naughty problems," and, for those of us 
whose background and experience does 
not include legal training, it often becomes 
cumbersome and unwieldly and sometimes 
appears to be insurmountable. 
Nevertheless, we do live under this system 
and it can work for us particularly if we 
have some basic information with which 
to help it along. 

It is with this in mind that President 
Jernigan asked me to speak to you here 
today. For not infrequently state and local 
leaders find themselves involved in legal 
affairs, and are confronted with such 
questions as: Must our oi-ganization 
incorporate? If we don't have to 
incoiporate, would we realize some 
benefit if we were to do so anyway? Are 
we exempt from paying taxes? Can people 
who make contributions to us deduct 
those contributions from their income 
taxes? Do we have to have Ucenses in 
order to raise funds? 

I beheve that before we can answer 
any of these questions fairly we must first 
look briefly at what the National 
Federation of the Blind is, whether our 
responsibilities for answering these 
questions arise at the local, state, or 
national level. 

So what is the National Federation of 
the Blind? It is a people's movement. It is 
the first and, today, is far and away the 
largest nation-wide organization "of 
Wind people in this country. It is a 
non-profit, chaiitable and educational 
organization created for the purpose of 
promoting the economic and social 
welfare of aU the blind of this nation. We 
strive to gain independence for all who are 
blind by achieving equality, opportunity, 
and security for every blind American. 

Our fundamental philosophy is not 
complicated. We who are bhnd are normal 
people. We are ordinary Americans who 
wish-nay demand-to gain the social, 
economic, and legal rights and 
responsibilities which flow from ordinary 

We recognize that our goal of full 
independence and equality for all who are 
blind will not be achieved easily or 
quickly, for we also recognize that when 
we promulgate our basic thesis of the 
nonnahty of blind people we are 
challenging the prevailing public attitude 
of our entire civilization. For it is the 
public attitude about blindness rather than 
the physical loss of sight that is the real 
problem, the handicap of blindness. That 
is, the attitude held by most Americans, 
bhnd as well as sighted, is that he who is 
bUnd is, by reason of that blindness alone, 
physically helpless, mentally incompetent, 
emotionally unstable, and devoid of all 
reason and good sense. 

This, then, is our reason for being. 
We who are blind have joined together to 
strive vigorously and unceasingly to 
eliminate these public misunderstandings 
and misconceptions, for because of tiiese 
misunderstandings and misconceptions, 
massive economic, social, and legal 
discriminations are continually practiced 
against those of us who are blind. 

So what can we as an organization do 
in order to solve our common problems 
and to improve and enrich the lives of 
blind Americans? Our functions and 
activities are many and varied. One of our 
most important functions is simply to 
come together, whether at the local, state, 
or national level. Here we as bhnd people 
discuss common problems and formulate 


programs unci policies, for wc know best 
the things which we need and also the 
things which we do not need. 

Our meetings, themselves, can often 
have a rehabilitative effect. Consider the 
newly blind individual. He, as a member of 
the public at large, will ordinarily have a 
pretty low opinion of himself and of blind 
people generally. When he comes to our 
meetings he has the opportunity to meet 
capable, successful blind people. This kind 
of meeting can produce much-needed 
hope and stimulation in such individuals. 

We are also engaged in a good deal of 
research into the problems of blindness 
and the needs of blind people and, upon 
request, make sui"veys of state sewice 
programs for the blind. 

The information thus gained by us is 
then available for our massive education 
projects which, I submit to you, are 
perhaps our most important activities, for 
we who are blind must take the lead in 
developing new and constructive attitudes 
about blindness and in spreading those 
new concepts abroad in the land. We make 
speeches to civic and church groups or on 
radio or TV. We see to it that stories 
concerning successfully employed blind 
persons are printed in magazines and in 
the neAvspapers. We invite people to our 
meetings so that they can hear our views 
and see us in action. We supply 
non-partisan educational materials and 
information to lawmakers at all levels of 
government so that these individuals will 
have all the facts upon which to make 
sound, well-reasoned judgements as to 
whether to support or oppose particular 
bills affecting blind people. In this same 
connection we give testimony at public 
hearings involving proposed laws which 

would affect blind people. We iilso make 
our information available to slate agencies 
established to serve the blind so that their 
seiTices can be more accurately geared to 
the real needs of their consumers. Then, 
too, when we are confronted with 
clear-cut cases of discrimination we will go 
to court if necessary to secure and protect 
the rights of blind Americans. 

With tliis background in mind let us 
turn to some of the questions involving 
legal transactions which I raised with you 
when I began. Must our state or local 
organizations incorporate? The answer is 
no. There is no legal requirement that 
anyone must incorporate. 

Before turning to the question as to 
whether, although not required, it might 
be good business for us to incorporate, 
perhaps we should briefly discuss just 
what a corporation is. It is simply a "legal 
person." It can buy and sell property, 
enter into contract, and sue or be sued in 
the courts. It can also be put to death. 
Periiaps the only thing you cannot do to a 
corporation that you can do to a "real 
person" is that you cannot put a 
corporation in jail. 

In the jargon of attorneys, the basic 
reason for the formation of a corporation 
is to avoid "individual liability." Put in 
plain English, this means that you as an 
individual member of a corporation are 
protected. If you as an individual have 
money or property but the corporation 
does not, and the corporation owes a large 
debt which it is unable to pay, the person 
to whom the debt is owed cannot sue you 
to take away your private money or 
property. He can only sue the corporation 
for whatever assets it has. 


Under the modem law of voluntary 
associations which now exists in some 
states, this same kind of protection for 
individual members of unincorporated 
associations is available, unless a particular 
individual has participated in a transaction 
wliich was not authorized by the general 

I believe that as a general rule tlaere is 
no good and compelling reason why a 
state or local organization should 
incori:)orate. We of the Federation have 
come together to improve conditions for 
blind people, not simply to set up 
high-flown legalistic social clubs and, 
therefore, it matters little as to the legal 
fomi our organizations take. Perhaps the 
strongest argument against incorporation 
is that it simply can become one of those 
aggravating situations which might better 
be avoided. The inevitable paper work is 
involved and, as we will see when we 
discuss tax exemption, the way in wjiich 
you have prepared that paper work is 
crucial. On the other hand, for those few 
organizations which presently hold or 
contemplate holding real estate, it would 
probably be worthwhile to make the 
effort and to incorporate. You might first 
check in to tlie kind of law which exists in 
your state regarding voluntary 

In any event, if there is to be 
incorporation at all I believe that that 
corporation should be formed on the state 
level alone. Each local chapter can then 
operate luider tlie general state charter as a 
branch or division of the central 
organization. In tliis way we can avoid the 
situation of having too many different 
people filling out too many forms with 
too many different answers. 

Do we have to pay taxes? The answer 
is no. The Federation, whether operating 
at the local, state, or national level, is a 
non-profit, charitable and educational 
organization. However, tax-exempt status 
is not automatic. We must apply for and 
be granted exemption. This is true even 
though our activities clearly will fall 
within the definition of tax-exempt 
charitable and educational organizations. 

We as an organization are exempt 
under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal 
Revenue Code. This section covers 
non-profit organizations which are: 
charitable, religious, scientific, testing for 
public safety, literary, educational, or 
prevention of cruelty to children or 

Our application for exemption must 
be made on Federal Tax Form 1023. The 
application must show that the 
organization is established and will be 
operated for one of the purposes which I 
have enumerated. We need not, of course, 
be corporations in order to apply for tax 

There are tliree basic limitations 
upon the activities of an organization 
which seeks tax exemption under Section 
501(c)(3). These are: (1) that no part of 
its net earnings will inure to the benefit of 
private shareholders or individuals: (2) 
that it will not, as a substantial part of its 
activities, issue propaganda or attempt to 
infiuence legislation; and (3) that it will 
not participate to any extent in a political 
campaign for or against any candidate for 
public office. 

The Federation, whether at the local, 
state, or national level, clearly meets these 


limitations. In the first place, of course, 
we do not distribute any part of our net 
earnings to individuals. This does not 
mean, however, that we cannot pay 
salaries to employees. We, of course, do 
pay such salaries. 

So far as legislation is concerned, we 
supply non-partisan educational materials 
to lawmakers at all levels of government 
and give testimony at public hearings so 
that these lawmakers will have all the 
available facts upon which to make sound, 
well-reasoned judgements in casting votes 
on issues affecting the blind; but we do 
not, as a substantial part of our activities, 
issue propaganda or attempt to influence 

Then, finally, we do not get involved 
in political campaigns for or against 
candidates for pubHc office. 

In applying for tax exemption there 
is a good deal of room for legal 
entanglement. According to the tax law, 
our purposes must be clearly set forth in 
our "articles of organization." In our case, 
these articles of organization would be our 
constitutions or our articles of 
incorporation if we have incorporated. 
The stated purposes in these documents 
cannot be inconsistent with the purpose of 
a tax-exempt organization under Section 
501(c)(3). Therefore, as I have previously 
indicated, it is crucial that our 
constitutions or articles of incorporation 
be completed carefully and accurately. 

For example, when setting forth your 
purpose in your state or local constitution 
or articles of incorporation, you could 
simply state that your organization will be 
both organized and operated exclusively 
for charitable and educational purposes 

within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) 
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Or. 
as most of us have done, you might state 
that your exclusive purpose is to promote 
the economic and social welfare of the 

In this same connection, the assets of 
your organization must be permanently 
dedicated to an exempt purpose. What this 
means is that there must be some 
provision in your constitution or articles 
of incorporation which will state clearly 
and unequivocally what will happen to 
your assets if your organization should 
ever go out of business, and it must be 
made clear that those assets will be turned 
over to some other tax-exempt 

You might add a "dissolution clause" 
as follows: 

Upon the dissolution, liquidation or 
abandonment of this association, or upon 
the winding up of its affairs, all of the 
property or assets of this association shall 
go and be distributed to the National 
Federation of the Blind, a non-profit 
corporation chartered in the District of 
Columbia, so long as that organization 
then qualifies as an exempt organization 
under the provisions of Section 501 (c)(3) 
of the Internal Revenue Code and its 
regidations as they now exist or as they 
may hereinafter be amended, and, if the 
National Federation of the Blind does not 
then exist or is not so qualified under 
Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue 
Code and its regidations as they now exist 
or as they may hereinafter be amended, 
and, if the National Federation of the 
Blind does not then exist or is not so 
qualified under Section 501(c)(3), then 
the assets shall go to such non-profit fund. 


foundation, corporation or corporations as 
may be selected by the Board of Directors 
of this organization, provided that said 
fund, foundation or corporation is 
organized and operated for charitable and 
educational purposes which would then 
qualify it for exeniption under Section 
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as 
it now exists or a<< it may then exist. 

To apply for exemption, obtain 
Federal Internal Revenue Form 
1 023-Application for Exemption. Also be 
sure to get the infoiTnational pamphlet 
which is available. It gives full and 
complete information as to how to fill out 
the fonn. Study that pamphlet closely 
before ever touching a pen to the paper. 
Tlien, in your apphcation, describe your 
purposes and activities. 

One thing you will need and will not 
Ukely have is aji "employer identification 
number." This is required whether or not 
your organization has or intends to have 
employees. Therefore, when you apply for 
exemption also complete Federal Form 
SS4--Application for Employer 
Identification Number. 

An organization need not iiavc been 
in existence for any particular |>eriod of 
time in order to apply for tax exemption. 
An exemption can be granted in advance 
of actual operation if your oi;ganization 
can describe its proposed activities and 
operations in sufficient detail to pennit a 
conclusion that it will clearly meet the 
particular requirements of the Code 
Section 501(c)(3) under which exemption 
is claimed. 

If the exemption is sought at some 
time after your organization has 

commenced its activities, the effective 

date of your exemption will be the date 
upon which your organization actually 
began its operations and activities if, 
during the period prior to your seeking 
exemption, your purposes and activities 
were those required by tlie law. 

There are two main kinds of 
determination. For individual 
organizations the "ruUng or detemiination 
letter" is sought. In addition, a central 
organization which has affiliates can seek a 
"group exemption letter." This group 
letter would cover a central organization 
and its affiliates through only one 
application for exemption. I submit to 
you that our state organizations should 
verj' strongly consider the alternative of 
seeking tlie group exemption letter. Again, 
there is a considerable amount of paper 
work involved in applying for tax exempt 
status, and, if we seek the group letter on 
a state-wide basis rather than individual 
local determinations, we can eliminate the 
problem of too many different people 
getting involved in filling out too many 
forms with too many different answers. In 
order to get the group exemption letter we 
must sh.ow that there is a certain amount 
of general control of the state organization 
over its local affiliates. The Federation at 
t'le national level docs not iiave a group 
letter which would cover state affiliates. 

You should also check your state law 
to detemiine whether or not you will be 
required to seek tax-exempt status on the 
state level. Some states require this and 
some do not. You should also check \'our 
state law concerning charitable 
organizations generally. In many states a 
cliaritable' organization must be registered, 
even though there is no tax problem. For 
example, in Cahfomia the charitable 
organization must obtain a tax exemption 


(similar to the Federal exemption) and 

also must report periodically to the 

charitable organization sections of the 
office of the Attorney General. 

What about tax returns? We are 
required by the law to file them. The 
return in question is an information return 
and will be some version of Tax Return 
Fomi 990. Your detemiination letter or 
group exemption letter will inform you as 
to which informational returns you must 
file. If you have applied for and received a 
group exemption letter, each local chapter 
could still file its own infomiation return. 
Therefore, the central organization would 
not have the responsibility of gathering all 
tlie financial data relevant to each local 
chapter. Your information return must be 
filed within five months of your 
organization's yearly close of business so 
your time for filing will depend on 
whether you operate on a calendar or 
fiscal year. 

Can a person wlio makes a donation 
to us deduct that donation from his 
income tax? Yes he can, if we have 
secured tax-exempt status. If we are a 
tax-exempt organization he can then 
deduct the amount of his contribution as 
provided in Section 170 of the Internal 
Revenue Code. 

What about licenses for fundraising 
activities? Must we obtain them? There is 
no flat answer here. Some states require 
them and some do not. Each of you will 
simply have to check out this problem in 
your own state. If your state requires a 
license, again, there will be the inevitable 
forms for you to fill out and, again too, 
whether or not a license will be granted to 
you quickly and without complication will 
depend greatly upon how carefully and 

accurately you have drafted your 
constitution or articles of incorporation. 

You should also check into city or 
county ordinances regarding fundraising 
drives. Some cities or counties will require 
licenses or permission while others will 
not. Where they exist these might be 
handled through local charities 

These, then, are some of the legal 
transactions with which each of you may 
one day become involved. We have had 
situations recently where affiliates got so 
bogged down with this kind of activity 
that they scarcely had strength and energy 
remaining with which to perform their 
important aiid vital functions. I would 
urge each of you, if you are ever involved 
in these affairs, to be sure to obtain all 
available information regarding any 
particular transaction with which you are 
involved and to study that information 
thoroughly before setting a pen to the 
paper. And I would urge something else. 
Make use of the expert assistance which is 
available to you through the Federation. 
After you have completed your forms as 
carefully and as accurately as you can, 
send them to President Jernigan in Des 
Moines, Iowa, so that he can look them 
over before they are submitted to the 
particular agency with whom you are 
dealing. In this way you can avoid needless 
delay and aggravation. 

There is much constructive work to 
be done and we cannot afford to spend 
our time needlessly and helplessly tangled 
in red tape. We of the Federation have 
begun our challenge to the old concept of 
the helpless, hopeless blind man. As 
President Jemigan recently stated, it is not 
yet the end of the beginning but it is the 


beginning of the beginning. There are 
many challenges ahead and it is in this area 
where our strength and energy must be 
expcnded--not in filling out legal forms. I 
believe that we of the Federation are equal 
to the challenge. We must dream dreams 
of things as they ought to be for every 
blind person in this country and then we 
must work with all that is in us to turn 

those dreams mto realities. We of the 
Federation have the people; we have the 
personal strength and capability; and we 
have the organization; our organization 
has the resources and the strength; and we 
have something more. We have a cause and 
our cause is just. And 1 believe that 
ultimately we shall prevail. 



Peter J. Salmon 

Two years ago, I had the privilege of 
appearing before the Convention of the 
National Federation of the Blind. At that 
time, I paid tribute to the leadership and 
outstanding work in the development of 
the Federation of the late Dr. Jacobus 
tenBroek. It also afforded me an 
opportunity, which I grasped 
wholeheartedly, to thank President 
Kenneth Jemigan and John Nagle, plus all 
the members of the Federation for their 
highest cooperation and help, which was 
so vital in the development of legislation 
leading up to the establishment of the 
National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths 
and Adults. This law was signed by 
President Johnson on October 3, 1967. 
Subsequently, we needed the help of the 
Federation with respect to the 
appropriation, and we received it. 

1 am pleased to be able to report to 
you that in the meantime many good 
things have happened relative to the 
establishment of the program and its 
development. The initial announcement of 
the establishment of the National Center 

for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults came on 
June 24, 1969, on the occasion of a very 
large meeting, the National Citizens' 
Conference on Rehabilitation, held in 
Washington, D. C. Dr. Mary E. Switzer, 
Administrator of the Social and 
Rehabilitation Service, made the 
announcement of the award to The 
Industrial Home for the Blind to conduct 
the National Center, as a major part of her 
remarks on that occasion. 

The Anne Sullivan Macy Service for 
Deaf-Blind Persons, which II IB had been 
conducting for seven years concluded on 
June 27, 1969, which was Helen Keller's 
birthday. On June 28 the new National 
Center program was begun, and IHB was 
able to go ahead immediately in the 
development of the program because it 
was possible to recruit a nucleus of the 
National Center service personnel from the 
Anne Sullivan Macy Service program. 

Interestingly, within a few days the 
first cooperative effort was the 
establishment of a deaf-blind person in 



Texas who needed some additional 
mobility in order to be able to travel to a 
job opening for him at Goodwill 
Industries. This happy situation involved 
not only the National Center and 
Goodwill Industries, but also tlie Texas 
Commission for the BHnd. We look at it as 
auguring well for services to deaf-blind 
persons over the United States, where 
combined efforts of the Center and other 
agencies will be of prime importance. 

It took some months to have tlie 
permanent agreement signed with the 
Social and Rehabilitation Service of the 
Department of Health, Education, and 
Welfare, and we were able to move 
immediately after that to obtain a 
temporaiy center for the operation of tlie 
program, located at 105 Fifth Avenue, 
New Hyde Park, New York. The 
temporary center made it possible for us 
to provide a number of services to 
deaf-blind persons, but until the 
permanent center is set up we will have to 
rely on the IHB facilities to provide any 
rehabilitation and other services to 
deaf-blind youths and adults. 

We have been recniiting additional 
staff, and this is one of the vital areas still 
to be developed. It is contemplated that 
we will have four regional offices, the first 
of which has been estabhshed in California 
and is located at the Glendale Security 
Building, Suite 404-405, 102 North Brand 
Boulevard, Glendale, California. Mrs. Vera 
Schiller, who is a former IHB staff 
member who took a position in California, 
is the director. This is a very fortunate 
circumstance. We intend to open up 
another regional office in Atlanta, 
Georgia, in September of this year. Two 
other offices will be estabhshed, one in tlie 
Midwest and another in the East, within 

the next year. 

Through a very fortunate situation 
involving the cooperation of the Regional 
Office of HEW in New York, we were able 
to contact the Office of Surplus Property 
Utilization of HEW, and after negotiations 
which took a minimum of time, were able 
to obtain twenty-five acres of property at 
Sands Point, Long Island, which is about 
thirty miles from New York City. This will 
be the site of the permanent National 
Center, and we have already appeared 
before the Appropriations Committee of 
the House with respect to the funding for 
this permanent facility in which we will 
carry forward the program of services to 
deaf-blind youths and adults. 

We have written a report regarding 
the seven-year regional program which 
comprised the areas of Regions I, II, and 
III of HEW along the Eastern seaboard, in 
which we were able to demonstrate the 
feasibility and effectiveness of 
rehabilitation for deaf-bhnd youths and 
adults. This is a very interesting account 
which, in part, outlines the events leading 
up to the establishment of the National 
Center. It is entitled Out of the Shadows, 
and it is my privilege now to present a 
copy of this report to your President, 
Kenneth Jernigan. I have autographed it 
and again indicated our appreciation to 
tlie Federation for its magnificent support 
of the developments leading up to the 
establishment of the National Center for 
Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. I would 
also like to make twenty-five copies 
available to the Federation. In addition, 
may I say that through the kindness and 
thoughtfulness of Mr. Robert Bray and the 
Library of Congress, Out of the Shadows 
is being put into braille and will be 
distributed through the regional libraries. 


If Helen Keller had lived until June 
27, 1970, she would have been ninety- 
years old. She did live long enough to 
know that her dream of a lifetime was to 
become a reality, where a National Center 
for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, as well 
as a separate program for the training and 
education of deaf-blind children, would be 
established. In the past, when we have 
spoken of deaf-blind people, it has always 
been to plead that they might be taken 
out of their great isolation and brought 
into the stream of human relations. Now 

we can look forward with great hope and 
faith that, though the program may take 
time to develop, never again will 
deaf-blind persons be in the very 
untenable and inhuman situation in which 
they have lived in the past. This will not 
be a miracle program of service to 
deaf-bhnd persons, but one of dedication, 
labor, and faith, and gi-adually, thousands 
of deaf-blind persons will come out from 
the shadows into the light of participation 
with their family and community. 





Tragedy is not always the end of something; it can, with courage and faith, be a 
beginning. Such is the case in the tragedy of blindness. Blind people have their symbol of 
courage in the white cane. 

The white cane is more than an instrument of self-help-it is a familiar reminder to 
those wlio can see that any tragedy can be transcended by faith and self-confidence. 

It is, therefore, not only the blind who benefit from the white cane, but all men, for it 
is a symbol of courage and determination that is universal and that speaks to the heart of all 

To make our citizens more fully aware of the significance of the white cane, and of the 
need for motorists to exercise caution ;uid courtesy when approaching its bearer, the 
Congress, by a jomt resolution, approved October 6, 1964 (78 Stat. 1003), lias authorized 
the President to issue annually a proclamation designating October 15 as White Cane Safety 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, 
do hereby proclaim October 15, 1970, as White Cane Safety Day. 

I urge all Americans to observe this day by increasing their understanding of the 
problems of the blind, leai"ning more about the accomplishments of the blind, and seeking 
ways in which the blind may add even more than tliey already have to their own personal 
fulfillment and to the progress of our nation. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have liereunto set my hand this 29th day of June, in the 
year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy, and of the Independence of the United States 
of America the one hundred ninety-fourth. 




Russell Getz was born December 16, 
1918. It was discovered that he had 
glaucoma at the age of six, and 
unsuccessful eye surgery resulted in 
blindness. He graduated from the Indiana 
State School for the Bhnd and attended 
Goshen College and Indiana University 
where he prepared to 
be a social worker. A 
requirement in 
Indiana that social 
workers be able to 
drive prevented him 
from finding the 
employment for 
which he was 
prepared and he 
became employed in 
a factory that 
automatic electronic 
controls. Russell 
Getz and his wife 
Mary are the parents of two girls. His 
hobby is the taping and exchanging of 
letters with correspondents. 

In 1958 Russell Getz and his wife 
organized the Tri County Chapter of the 
Indiana Council of the Blind of which he 
was president. He was elected president of 
the Indiana Council of the Blind in 1959, 
;md he was again elected to that office in 
1967 and 1968. 

riie Indiana Council of tlie Blind was 
organized in 1954 and became an affiliate 
of the National Federation of the Blind 
with the presentation of its charter at 
Louisville the same year. Hugh McGuire 

worked for reinstatement into the 
Federation's ranks after the earlier State 
organization had been suspended for 
inactivity. Mr. John Miller of Lake County 
was the first president, followed by 
Russell Getz in 1959. 

In 1964 there 
was an attempt to 
destroy the 
workshop at the 
Indiana State Agency 
for the Blind and to 
throw it into the 
hands of Goodwill 
Industries. This move 
was defeated by a 
statewide meeting as 
well as through 
effort and publicity. 
In the 1965 
legislative session five 
liills were acted on 
tavorably because of 
the Council's efforts. The residence 
requirement was reduced from three years 
to one year. Liens on the proi)erty of 
former welfare clients could be dropped 
after a five-year period off the rolls. A two 
thousand dollar exemption for blind real 
estate owners was voted, and perhaps most 
important, Ray Dinsniore was appointed 
to fill a seat on the State advisory board of 
the Indiana State Agency for the Blind as 
a representative of the Indiana Council of 
tlie Blind. This important measure is 
recognition of the right of the blind to 
organize and to be consulted, in matters 
which concern them. The Governor has 
since refused to approve appointment of 
other qualified blind individuals to this 



tliis was later vetoed by the Governor. 

The Council has sponsored bills to 
improve the vending stand programs of the 
State and it was instrumental in increasing 
the allowance for rehabilitation from 
seventy dollars a month to one hundred 
dollars a month. In 1969 the Indiana 
General Assembly passed the Model White 
Cane Law exactly as originally framed by 
Jacobus tenBroek and Russell Kletzing. In 
the same session a resolution was passed 
by the General Assembly asking the State 
colleges not to withhold recommendation 
of a blind person for a teaching certificate 
if the person is qualified. A 
recommendation from an institution of 
higher education is required of teachers in 
Indiana. Until tliis time, Indiana's bhnd 
pubhc school teachers had been educated 
out of the state. The 1969 session passed a 
badly-needed aid to the blind increase, but 

Legislative plans in Indiana include 
the establishment of a commission for the 
blind, the transfer of bhnd schools from 
the Department of Institutions to the 
Department of Public Instniction, the 
establishment of an advisoiy committee 
on which blind people will serve based on 
geographical distribution, the development 
of a modern orientation center, and the 
encouragement of industry to hire the 

The Indiana Council's chapters are 
seven in number-Lake County, St. Joseph 
County, Tri County, Kass County, Allen 
County, Vandenburgh County, and 
Marion County. The Council looks 
forward to continued legislative effort and 
support of NFB programs. 


[Reprinted from the Fullerton, California News-Tribune] 

Dr. Howard K. S. Brown, a Fullerton 
radiologist, who turned to psychiatry 
studies when his sight began to fail, has 
been named as chief-of-staff of Brea 
Hospital-Neuropsychiatric Center. 

Brown talked with reporters about 
his unusual situation. 

He explained that his sightlessness 
was the result of the same disease that 
afflicted comedian Bob Hope. Brown 
noted that Hope still has some vision in 
the eye which was affected. Treatment is 

now available through cyclotrons taking 
care of the pituitaiy gland. "Now, using 
early treatment forty percent can be 
saved," he said. The disease involves the 
deterioration of the arteries which aie 
connected to the eyes. 

Brown has practiced radiology and 
psychiatry in Fullerton since 1960. He 
formerly was located in San Diego. He 
entered psychiatric practice in 1967. 
Previously he had gone to medical school 
at Stanford University, graduating in 1949 
and in 1953 took his internship at 


Veterans Administration Center in Los 
Angeles in radiology. His eyesight began to 
fail and he lost it completely in the 

Brown explained that he had four 
specialties when he was in medical school, 
one of which was in psychiatry, so it 
wasn't a new thing to him. He was offered 
a residency in psychiatry at Palo Alto at 
tlie time he took radiology. He decided on 
radiology instead, because he didn't want 
to divide his time between two cities in 
Northern CaUfornia, since he had recently 
married. But he finally wound up 
returning to psychiatry because of Ins 
failing eyesight. 

Having taken courses in both phases 
of medical science, the "concretistic" side 
of radiology helps the other side, 
psychiatry', he explains. Some young 
doctors can't understand this, but he 
explained one instance of how one subject 
helps the otJier. 

Early in his psychiatric career a 
woman came to him with what had been 
diagnosed as psychosomatic pains in her 
back. The more she talked the more he 
felt the pains were the result of physical 
illness. As it turned out. he said, the 
woman had an incurable cancer of the 
pancreas. Although the results were tragic, 
his diagnosis was correct, based on his 
previous experience. 

He said that at the end of his first 
year of psychiatry he completely lost his 
sight and he stopped for a month of 

"soul-searching" as he put it. Then he 
picked up again and continued. 

"There are some advantages in not 
being able to see" in his profession, he 
said. "We have a great tendency to judge 
people by what they look hke." He has to 
go by dieir voices and the way they shake 
his hand for instance, he added. Their 
dress does not matter. 

He said that in the case of women 
patients, they can be more free to tiilk 
without blushing, he noted. 

"In some ways it may be a 
handicap," he said. "People look at me 
and say 'you have worse problems than I 
have' and add that they must be very weak 
not to be able to cope with their own 

Then there aie the visual cues, which 
he substitutes by using cues of touch and 
conversation. Brown said the first ten 
words usually can confinn a diagnosis. 

He smiled as he said he had to get 
accustomed to "having a small phone 
book in my head," and proudly explained 
that he confounded some doctors by 
saying the coffee wasn't ready because he 
could hear attendants cleaning the 
percolator which had become empty. 

Brown has a wife and 
seventeeen-year-old daughter who decided 
to follow in his footsteps by going to 
medical school specializing in pediatrics or 




William G. Corey 

The Western Pennsylvania Chapters 
of the Pennsylvania Federation of the 
Blind held their 1 0th annual meeting 
Saturday, May 23rd, in the Roosevelt 
Hotel Pittsburgh. Attendance at this 
year's conclave was tlic largest in the 
ten-year history of tliesc meetmgs. The 
session opened shorily 'iftcr 1 with- 
the reading of the minutes of our 1969 
meeting in Rochester. 

Heading events of the afternoon was 
the discussion of library seiTices and new 
programs being developed by Miss Mona 
Wa"nier, flead Librariaji of the Regional 
Library for tlie Blind in Pittsburgh, 
followed by a short question and answer 
period. Next on the program was the first 
of two panel discussions relating to 
semces for the blind and the relationship 
of the Federation to the agencies 
administering these seivices. Those 
participating in this panel discussion 
included Dr. Alton G. Kloss, 
Superintendent of Western Pennsylvania 
School for Blind Cliildreji, Pittsburgh; Dr. 
L. Leon Reid, Executive Director of the 
Greater Pittsburgh Guild for the blind; 
William James, Manager Pittsburgh office 
of the Bureau for the Visually and 
Physically Handicapped, Department of 
Public Welfare; Miss Warmer; and William 
H. Murray, Executive Director York 
County Center for the Blind. Moderator 
was Robert Morganstem, third vice 
president of the PFB. Luella Murray, 

chaiixnan of the Liason Committee of the 
Federation, explained the purposes of this 
committee and its relationship to the 
agencies for the blind. 

A panel discussion dealing with the 
Federation movement on the national, 
state, and local levels in Pennsylvania 
rounded out the afternoon meeting. 
Among pai"ticipants in this discussion were 
John Nagle, Chief of the Washington 
OlYice of the NFB, Dr. Mae Davidow and 
many otiiers. Jack Schumacher, organizer 
and president of the Mountain City Area 
Federation of the Blind in Altoona, was 
moderator for this panel. 

A highlight of the evening was our 
annual banquet, with 102 people in 
attendance, and an inspiring talk by John 
Nagle on the Federation and what 
membership in the Federation could mean 
to all blind people. Other events mcluded 
a drawing for many prizes and an excellent 
program of music presented by the Betty 
Dugan Chorale. 

The Golden Triangle Federation of 
the Blind, Pittsburgh, was host chapter. 

We sincerely beUeve that as a result 
of these meetings a new spirit of 
cooperation will effect a great 
improvement in quahty of the services to 
the blind and visually handicappped in 

* * * * * * * 



Patrick Young 

[The following article is reprinted from the National Observer.] 

Dental insurance may be ready for its 
great leap forward. 

Today, an estimated 6,500,000 
Americans have dental coverage, similar to 
policies that help pay doctor and hospital 
bills. This is a small percentage of the 
population-only about 3 percenc-whcn 
compared with the 85 percent that carries 
medical insurance. But the figure is up 
from 5,236,800 one year ago, and far 
above the 732,300 covered in 1960. 

Insurance men see dental plans as a 
logical extension for employee demands in 
fringe benefits. Too. there is a growing 
awareness of dental disease as a b.ealtli 
problem. Given these two factors, 
insurance men expect dental insurance to 
gain increasing favor across the nation. 

lieadquartered in Chicago for insurance 
plans sponsored by state dental 
associations. "We now have the impression 
tliat dental care is in tlie forefront of 
several big unions in tlieir forthcoming 
contract negotiations." 

Labor unions gave the mitial impetus 
and provided the continued force for 
much of dental insurance's grc;wth. The 
first plan was negotiated in 1954 by the 
International Longshoremen and 
Warehousemen's Union, on the West Coast. 
The Washington State Dental Association 
set up a dental-ser\'ice coq^'oration to 
administer the program. Today, nearly 
half the people covered by dental 
insurance reside in seven Western states. 
Dental benefits, however, interest unions 
across tlie country. 

Inflation gets the blame for the 
slower-than-expected growth, and it could 
forestall future expansion. Almost all 
dental insurance is a fringe benefit 
provided by employers; about half the 
people are covered as a result of contracts 
negotiated by labor unions. Soaring 
medical, hospital, and surgical costs have 
required additional money simply to 
maintain health care already provided in 
maiiy poUcies. 

"Because of that, we have not seen 
the input into dental care that we 
forecast," says Herbert C. Lassiter, 
executive vice president of the Delta 
Dental Plans Association, a trade group 

For many years it v/as gospel among 
commercial insurance companies that 
dental care wasn't msurable. "Something 
insurable is something that occurs 
relatively infrequently, but when it 
happens, it is usually expensive," says one 
insurance executive. Dental disease these 
days, however, is almost as sure as death 
and taxes. 

Too, dental trouble is cumulative. 
Ignore a tiny spot of decay imd it grows 
until the tooth goes, or worse. Thus, many 
insurance men worried that tlie infiux of 
bills from people utihzing their insurance 
to repair years of neglect would prove too 
expensive. But with group policies, this 


problem has been largely overcome. 

In the long nin, it is cheaper for 
insurance caniers if people utilize their 
dental policies regularly. This is because 
once serious trouble is cured in the first 
year, the cost of maintaining a healtiiy 
mouth is comparatively low. 

"We had one sizable contract where 
the first-yeai- costs were high, but now 
they have stabilized and we have not had 
to raise our rates," reports Charles 
Drumrney, director of group-insurance 
research for Connecticut General Life 
Insurance Company in Hartford, 

Dental insurance encourages people 
to visit their dentists. Occidental Life 
Insurance Company of California m Los 
Angeles has documented this trend. "After 
dental insurance became effective in one 
group, utilization went up from 45 
percent to 75 percent in the first year," 
says C. Donald Hankin, an Occidental vice 

The vast majority of dental-insurance 
policies are group contracts. Six 
companies do write provisions for dental 
care into their regular medical policies for 
individuals. But such contracts cause 
considerable problems for carriers. "Any 
individual can tell so clearly what his 
dental needs are before applying for a 
policy," says Mr. Burton of Aetna. 

Few people seem wilhng to take out 
pohcies on their own, unless they expect a 
considerable return. As a result, prices are 
high and public interest is low in 
individual dental insurance. "The need for 
individual coverage isn't as great as we 
anticipated," a spokesman for Mutual of 

Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska, 

There are three basic groups now 
providing dental insurance: commercial 
insurance companies, state dental 
associations, and other health plans, such 
as Blue Cross and Blue Shield. 

Dental-seiTice plans sponsored by 
state dental associations-which the 
associations like to call "not-for-profit 
plans" to distinguish them, from 
profit-making commercial companies-now 
cover more than 2,000,000 persons. 
Twenty-seven states have such programs. 

Tile nation's 74 Blue Shield and 75 
Blue Cross plans, which provide medical 
coverage for about 45 percent of the 
population, are just entering the 
dental-insurance field. "We are really in 
the development stage," says Wilham E. 
Ryan, a senior vice president of the 
National Association of Blue Shield Plans, 
headquartered in Chicago. "You had to 
wait until there was sufficient interest to 
give yourself a broad enough base." 

Tlie uicreasing demand for dental 
insurance generated the Blues interest in 
providing coverage. "Employers don't 
want to deal with 10 different agencies to 
put togetlier a comprehensive health 
package," says H. G. Pearce, a senior vice 
president of the Blue Cross Association of 
Chicago. Adds Mr. Ryan: "The basic 
concern we have is that this benefit be 
available across the country." 

The future for dental insurance, 
liowever, is clouded by the spiral of 
medical and dental costs. Inflation could 
deflate dental insurance's growth and the 
rosy future many insurance men now 


envision. "The only real deterrent is cost," 
says Mr. Burton of Aetna. "And that is a 

sisnificant deterrent. 


Sidney Gruber 

[Reprinted from the Burbauk Daily Review^ Burbank, California] 

Loss of sight is a tragic occurrence in 
the life of any human being, it can lead to 
desperation but it needn't have that result. 

Such is the philosophy of Mrs. 
Charles (Nancy) Smalley, a blind 
housewife and mother of two children 
who is president of the Glendale-Burbank 
Area chapter of the California Council of 
the Blind. 

Indeed, it was through the direct 
efforts of Mrs. Smalley that the local 
chapter has built itself up to form a vital 
branch of the statewide council. 
Organization and development of the local 
branch is Mrs. Smalley's main interest, and 
this is by no means an easy chore. "It's 
very difficult to find blind people for our 
organization," Mrs. Smalley said. "We're 
still interested in building up the group, 
and for me it's a matter of making 
frequent telephone calls. Our job really is 
to find new recruits and to show them 
that their handicap can be overcome. "We 
try to bring home to them the fact that 
there are Wind people who are working 
and leading a nonnal family hfe." 

This in fact is the stated function of 
the CaUfomia Council of the Blind, an 
organization of sightless individuals begun 

in October, 1934, in Fresno, California. Its 
goals are to gain full independence, 
equality of opportunity and social 
acceptance for blind persons. Whether 
blind by birth, disease or natural damage, 
the council can ser\'e as a genuine "arm" 
for such afflicted persons said Mrs. 
Smalley, herself the victim of an exploding 
dynamite cap at the ago of twelve years. 

The will to continue her education 
and lead a nonnal life could not be denied 
the young native of Joplin, Missouri She 
completed grades six through eight at the 
Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis 
before moving to the West Coast in 1952. 
After studying for three years at Los 
Angeles Polytechnic High School and 
graduating with her secondary credential 
in 1955, she attended UCLA for three 
years, then entered San Francisco State 
College, from which she graduated with a 
bachelor's degree in sociology in 1959. 

Intending to embark on a teaching 
career, Mrs. Smalley commenced graduate 
study at San Francisco State but marriage 
"interrupted" a promising occupation in 
that field. 

Today, the 34-year-old housewife is 
tlie mother of two youngsters, Jeffrey, 


four; and Kevin, seven months. Her 
husband, Cliarles, a native of Northern 
California, has been employed as a social 
worker for the County of Los Angeles for 
the past ten years. 

Does being blind interfere with Mrs. 
Sni alley's chores as a housewife and 

"That's a question I've been asked 
many times," she said. "As far as 
discipline with the kids, I handle them the 
way most people do. 

"I go grocery shopping with the 
neiglibors, but that's about the extent of 
their help." 

Any housework that one would think 
troublesome to the sightless has been 
made easier with the aid of a few 
mechanical devices. The family's oven 
thermometer, for instance, is marked in 
Braille. A Braille clinical thermometer is 
available to check the health of the 

Cooking recipes are also available in 

Braille and the determined householder is 
adept at doing her own laundry and 

Mrs. Smalley comes to tlie position 
of president of the local chapter of 
California Council of the Blind with 
several years' experience in work for and 
with the blind, such activity being her 
chief interest outside the home. 

As president, Mrs. Smalley will be 
required to preside at all chapter meetings, 
appoint committees and be ready to 
answer and assist the sightless with 
questions on job referrals and state welfare 

"One of the important things tlie 
council does," Mrs. Smalley said, " is 
provide scholarships for blind students. 
This is possible with the money obtained 
from fundraising projects. Last year 
$4,000 in such scholarships were awarded 
to needy students on a statewide basis. We 
here in the Burbank area intend to do our 
part again this year." 


* * * * * 


Pearl Ottenheimer 

[Reprinted from the San Francisco (CaUfomia) Sunday Examiner & Chronicle. 

The next time you are bored with 
cooking, provoked by its necessity and 
feel trapped, put an eye mask on, grope 
your way around the kitchen and cook a 
meal. Difficult? Of course. Yet "cookmg 

with touch" is a necessity for the blind 
and near bhnd. 

In a class at the Orientation Center 
for the Blind in Albany, California four 


teen-agers approach their cooking chores 
with enthusiasm. They come into the 
classroom dressed in zingy 
fashion-mini-sicirted, high boots, swinging 
long, straight hair, laughing and chatting. 
Only the tap, tap of their canes made one 
aware of a handicap. 

Students reside at the center 
approximately four to six months, not for 
vocational training but rather 
pre-vocational~ learning to take care of 
themselves, preparing for productive lives 
in the v/orld of the sighted. It is the only 
facility of its kind in the state, 
administered by the State Department of 
Rehabihtation and all of the blind or near 
blind students are high school graduates or 
at least eighteen years old, and for many 
this is the first time away from home. 

"Learning to cook with touch 
increases their confidence," said home 
economics instnictor Jane Teeter. "Many 
have lived sheltered lives; allowed, 
sometimes to wash dishes but never to 
approach a stove or prepare a meal." 

The center has three modem, 
compact kitchens with an open section 
between so the instructor cim observe the 
action in each work area. Containers, 
drawers and shelves are labeled in braille. 
Dials on the stove and oven are marked 
with blobs of glue indicating temperature 

Preparation of potato salad, 
hamburgers and fresh apple pie was the 
lesson for the day. Each student used 
braille recipes- 

As the novice cooks began, it was a 
great temptation to help-find a spoon, 
reach for a needed ingredient or turn the 

stove dials. But, observing Jane Teeter's 
kind and gentle manner of instructing, it is 
obvious that what each student most 
needs is to learn by application and gain 
confidence with each attempt. 

Recipe sources are braille cookbooks 
and braille copies from newspapers, 
magazines and books. One helpful source 
is "The Co-op Low Cost Cookbook" 
which is particularly useful for students 
planning to live in apartments when they 
go to college. In the book you'll find 
numerous ways of preparing hamburger. 
This one is a little different, using ground 

Syrian Meat Balls with Curry Sauce: 

Combine Wi lbs. ground lamb; 2 cloves 
garlic, minced; 1 egg, 1/3 cup finely 
chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon salt. Mix 
thoroughly. Form into balls and brown in 
2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet for 
8 to 10 minutes. They should be 
well-browned on outside but medium rare 
in the center. While the meat balls are 
cooking, begin tlie sauce. 

Melt 6 tablespoons margarine in a 
2-quart pan. Add 2 stalks celery, chopped; 
1 large onion, diced, and 1 large apple, 
peeled, cored and diced. Cook until celer\' 
softens. Add 1 tablespoon curr>' powder, 2* 
cups tomato paste; cook 10 minutes. Add 
the meat balls to sauce and reheat. Serve 
over rice or pilaff. Serves 6. Authentic 
Syrian meat balls would include V2 cup 
pine nuts which are expensive. Chopped 
walnuts may be substituted. 

A dessert recipe the class is partial to 
is this easy one made of convenience 


Cherry Crisp: 

Pour contents of 1 can pie cherry mix into 
lightly buttered 8-inch square pan. 
Smooth out. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Sprinkle Vz package of yellow cake mix 
(dry) over top; smooth out. Sprinkle 1 cup 
chopped wahiuts on top and drizzle Vz cup 
melted butter over all. Bake 25 to 30 
minutes. Serve plain or with cream. 

* * * * * * * :i= t- * * * 


[The following letter is from Craig R, Anderson of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

To the Editor: 

There appears in the May, 1970, 
Monitor an item describing Public Law 
87-614, which enacted into the federal 
Civil Service law a provision peimitting 
federal agencies to appoint reading 
assistants for their blind employees 
without the reading assistants' having to 
take civil service examinations. You 
indicate that this law is little-used for the 
obvious reason that there is rarely anyone 
willing or able to compensate such a 
reading assistant. Yet, this legislation is 
one of the few affirmative legal 
encouragements in existence for the 
employment of the blind. 

The resulting lack of protection for 
prospective blind professionals seems to 
me to constitute more than a deterrent to 
their employment. It is, with exceptions 
(of which I suppose I am presently an 
example), a sweeping denial to the blind 
applicant of any chance to be employed in 
a professional capacity on an equal basis 
with his sighted counterparts. The blind 
should not be treated as second-class 
citizens, either on the job or elsewhere. 
However, to relegate a blind employee to a 
job which requires no reading in its 
performance is often to treat him in just 

this way. 

Two currently popular methods of 
alleviating this problem are the use of 
unpaid volunteer readers and of vocational 
rehabilitation agencies. I would maintain 
that neitlier of these approaches is very 
satisfactory. In any event, neither has in 
fact worked very well. The job of a 
reading assistant requires a person of 
considerable ability and infinite patience. 
None could reasonably be expected to 
hold such a position for long without pay. 
Rehabilitiation agencies are, by definition, 
dedicated to rehabiHtation and to little 
else. A blind applicant for a professional 
job presumably has already been 
rehabilitated, in the conventional sense of 
that tenn, or, having been blind all his life, 
has never had anything to be rehabilitated 
from. Moreover, the benevolent 
paternalism which seems to be the order 
of the day with most agencies for the 
blind seems ill-suited to meeting the needs 
of someone who wants only a fair chance 
to do a job. 

The problem cannot be sloughed off 
onto the employer of the potential blind 
employee. An employer who may already 
be reluctant to hire someone who is blind 
will usually be made much more reluctant 


to do so by the prospect of having to pay 
out large sums for reading assistance if he 
is to expect a satisfactory job from that 
particular applicant. 

H. R. 3782 would, if passed, 
undoubtedly embody a great step toward 
the solution of this problem. However, it 
may be asked whetlier even this proposal 
would go far enough. Special expenses for 
many new blind employees would be 
likely to exceed substantially anything 
they might receive under these proposed 
social security amendments. Perhaps a one 
hundred percent federal income tax credit 
for special legitimate employment-related 

expenses which a blind taxpayer incurred 
would prove helpful in this area. Whatever 
the ultimate solution, if, as some think, 
the proper social welfare function of the 
Government includes the furnishing of 
such financial assistance as is necessary to 
enable anyone to participate in society 
unhandicapped by factors over which he 
clearly has no control, then the 
Government should assure that no one 
who is blind is denied the status and 
dignity that go with a job commensurate 
with his inclination and ability simply 
because he cannot afford the job's 


Bill Stralcy graduated first in his class 
as a computer programmer at a teclinical 
school in December but he had difficulty 
finding a job in this supposedly wide-open 
field because he is blind. He received the 
same response from interviewers at more 
than one hundred companies in and 
around Wasliington, D. C, "We'll call you 
if anything comes up." Interviewers were 
reluctant to say that they would not hire 
him because of his blindness. 

After attending Mercer County 
Community College and Monmouth 
College where he majored in sociology, 
Bill opened a television repair shop and 
fixed bad pictures by listening to the 
changes in pitch of the static on a radio. 
He operated repair shops in New Jersey 
untU April, 1969, when he went back to 
school to learn computer programming on 
the advice of the New Jersey Commission 

for the Blind. 

Bill felt that he made interviewers 
uncomfortable because of his blindness; he 
usually encountered a personnel director 
who had never had a blind person seek 
employment with his firm. He anticipated 
questions about his mobility by travelling 
to interviews in unfamiliar locations on 
tlie bus. This is an answer to the question, 
"How are you going to get back and forth 
to work?" Bill found he could not 
eliminate the interviewer's surprise at his 
blindness by telling him ahead of time on 
the telephone or in an application that he 
is blind. 

He is one of four himdied blind 
people in the field of computer 
programming in the United States. This 
job involves tlie writing of instructions 
that will tell the machine how to 


manipulate the data inside it, Bill uses a 
special frame to line up the computer 
cards and he types the instructions on the 

Employment came to Bill Straley in 
an unexpected way. He was beginning to 

think the television ads saying that his 
field was crying for recruits were a lot of 
hot air. A local newspaper article about his 
difficulty in fmdmg a job elicited an offer 
from the national lieadquarters of the Boy 
Scouts of America where he is now 
employed as a computer programmer. 


William M. Kapp 

[The following is reprinted from Performance , publication of the President's Committee on 
Employment of the Handicapped.] 

"One of my students said that I am a 
legend in my own time. To me, that means 
I might as well be dead. Well, I'm here to 
tell you that I am not." The competitive, 
tenacious manner in which this man works 
proves the tmth of his own feelings about 
his student's expression. Completely bUnd 
since early childhood, James K. Martin 
teaches Air Force officers "how to teach." 
More specifically, he trains Air Training 
Command (ATC) instructors to teach 
fledgling aviators all of the many subjects 
these men must know in order to fly 
today's sophisticated aircraft. Martin is a 
Federal Civil Service employee with the 
ATC Instructor Training School, 
Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. 

As a teacher of teachers, he helps Air 
Force officers learn to prepare and follow 
lesson plans, to recognize good teaching 
procedures, to adapt to behavior patterns 
of students so that learning difficulties can 
be dealt with properly, and to 
communicate verbally with their own 
students. He also teaches prospective 

teachers to select and manage suitable 
training aids. The fact that he is so 
successful in his duties is evidenced by his 
superior performance awards, his 
published articles in professional journals, 
and the testimony of his fellow instructors 
as well as his students. 

Major Charles D. Burns, Chief of the 
Air Training Command Instnictor's 
Training School, says of Mr Martin, "His 
total value as a classroom instructor is 
impossible to measure against a given set 
of standards. The students he has tauglit in 
the past continue to praise him for the 
inspirational Uft he gave them as instaictor 

Attainment of this success, though, 
has not been easy. The story of the 
struggles of this man and his family for the 
opportunity to use his abilities is truly a 
profile of courage and liard work. 

Like many blind children in the 
1930's, he received his early education at 


the Texas State School for the Blind in 
Austin. After high school he attended 
Texas A&M University where he studied 
pre-law. Finances, however, forced him to 
leave school after two years and take a 
job. The only employment opportvmity 
for him was with the Lighthouse for the 
Bhnd in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he made 
mops for the Navy. Using music skills 
developed at the Texas State School for 
the Blind, he supplemented his income by 
playing the piano in dance bands in the Ft. 
Worth area. Those were liard yeius for 
Martin but they were only the Hrst of 
many he was to experience. 

After World War II in 1945 he had an 
opportunity under a Federal rehabilitation 
program for the blind to go to Texas A&.M 
University to study poultry husbandry. He 
finished this training in one year and, with 
the help of his family, bought a 
twenty-seven-acre poultry farm near Ft. 
Wortli. The Federal Farm-Home 
Administration helped finance the 
building of a farmhouse and four brooder 
houses, digging of a well, and the 
preparation of tlic farm The following 
year lie married Nelda Stephens. Mr. ajid 
Mrs Martin operated their small poultrj' 
farm, and he supplemented the family 
income by working as a salesman for the 
Lighthouse for the Bhnd in Ft. Worth, as 
well as plav ing in a dance band. During the 
years the Martins operated their fami, he 
did chores in the morning and then 
liitchhiked thirty-five miles to Ft. Worth 
to do his sales work and play in the dance 
band. The day was completed with a long 
bus ride home each night. 

In 1956 after several financially 
disastrous years on the farm the Martins 
came to realize they were just not getting 
ahead. They felt their hopes lay in more 

education. They sold everything they had, 
cleared their debts, and went back to 
Texas A&M to work on Martin's 
bachelor's degree. They arrived at the 
university with $250 for tuition, a promise 
of a job upon graduation and two small 
children to feed. 

But he discovered promises are not 
always kept. The job didn't materialize. At 
least he iiad a part-time job at school and 
Nelda was working in a factory. They 
decided they literally had nothing to lose 
by staying another year to finisli a 
master's degree. Once again he 
supplemented the family income by 
playing in dance bands. He also tuned and 
repaired pianos. A graduate assistantsliip 
helped keep the family fed. 

He got his master's degree in general 
education but still didn't have a job. 
Althougli the Martins made more than 535 
contacts among Federal and state 
governmental agencies, all offers were 
withdrawn when it was learned Martin was 
blind. Finally after fifteen discouraging 
montlis of unemployment ;md hardship. 
Air Force officials at Randolph .A.FB asked 
if lie would like a teaching job with tliem. 

Martin began working for Air 
Training Command six weeks later. All he 
needed was a chance. His success in this 
position is history. 

Martin has become philosophical 
about his experiences "I suppose if there 
is any one thing I've learned it would be 
tliat a person probably can rarely do 
exactly what he wants to do when he 
wants to do it. If a handicapped person is 
going to be successful, he can't just wait 
for the job that is tailor-made for him to 
come along. He's got to get out and do 


everything he possibly can." 

J. K. Mai'tin has had many stmggHng 
years when, in spite of his efforts, doors to 
opportunity seemed locked. He 
emphasizes the fact that a handicapped 
person must try as best he can. But he also 
firmly feels that "people who are in 
positions to afford some other person a 
chance, have a moral obligation to allow 
that person the chance to prove his 
capabilities. I don't say give the 
handicapped person things free and gratis 
without his making the best effort he can. 
But I do say if there is a handicapped 

person who wants to tr>' to do a job, he 
should at least have the chance to try it." 

While most of J.K.'s goals have been 
met, he would still Uke to finish a Ph.D. in 
education. J.K. feels he not only should 
improve his own professional capabilities, 
but he also must continue to set an 
example for his children. Perhaps the 
piano and organ will once again provide 
that opportunity,, 

A legend in his own time? A legend 
of courage, faith, and tenacity. 



Kapisha Kamangala 

[Editor's Note: This speech on the welfare services in Zambia was to liave been delivered at 
tlie NEB convention in July, but the author was forced to return home because of illness.] 

I am sorry to say that, I can send this 
written speech to the conference instead 
of coming to represent my organization 
personally. However, as I had written to 
the president circumstances at home are so 
unavoidable that I have had no way out. 
These serious matters have called my 
attention for which case I have been 
forced to leave this training school even 
much earlier than the programme was 

In the first place I should like to state 
that, Zambia is a country in central Africa 
between Rhodesia, the democratic 
republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Angola 
and Mozambique. It is a country wliicli 
was once under the British rule for a 

period of seventy years. We achieved 
independence in the year 1964 under the 
name of Zambia derived from one of our 
largest rivers in the country known as 

The Zambia Council for the Blind 
and Handicapped was instituted in 1963 
and has had two constitutions since then. 
The first constitution was very colonial 
and did not give riglits to the bhnd to 
participate in their own affairs. This 
continued until 1969 in January when a 
new act was made and signed by the 
president giving the blind and other 
handicapped persons rights to represent 
their own interests. The executive head of 
this organization is himself blind together 


with his deputy. There are many sighted 
members of staff but generally speaking 
under the general collective leadership of 
the executive head. Under this 
organization are sub-committees such as a 
committee responsible for education of 
the blind and other handicapped children, 
another for braille and literature 
distribution as well as for finance. Other 
committees include those for agriculture, 
and staff appointments. We have the 
general council and an executive council 
responsible for discipline. We have offices 
at provincial and district levels. 

We have a school which is now 
training blind and other handicapped 
persons in typing lasting one year. This 
dictaphone typing has provoked 
tremendous interest in our people both 
sighted and the handicapped and many 
have been trained and given jobs. The 
instructor is blind who was once sent to 
England for six months for tliis course. 
Many of our boys are working as 
telephone operators in towns and cities. 
The council through me trained many 
boys who began in turn to train others on 
my order. I told them that there was no 
time to waste, anyone who was taught 
should teach another and so it went on 
very successfully. I started to seek 
employment for them and very 
successfully placed a lot of them in jobs as 
telephone operators. These people proved 
reasonably well that many fimis began 
asking me for more and more trained 
blind. Some handicapped people and deaf 
were employed as price markers and 
clerks. This was between 1966 and 1968. 
At the present moment, we have many 
handicapped people of all classes in 
commerce and industry mainly as 
telephonists. This is because we are 
generally lacking trained personnel. 

For those who have not been to 
schools or who have had slight education, 
a sheltered workshop has been constructed 
where they are being trained in chair 
caning, basket, broom and brush making. 
We would like to put up as many such 
shops as possible for our people, but we 
have not sufficient funds to facilitate such 
kind of general acquisition of 
employment. Also, we have a training 
centre for rural agriculture where we are 
bringing many blind and handicapped who 
are not so seriously disabled to train in 
this sphere. Tliese people are given a large 
piece of land where they are resettled as a 
general community with their families. We 
have clinics and schools for their children 
and health centres in case of emergency. 
We have provided transportation for each 
centre to carry the produce to the 
available markets from the fanning centre. 
These people are employed by tjie council 
and paid monthly and all that they grow 
belongs to the council. 

However, eigjity percent of funds 
come from the government and once we 
have gone out of it. we often suffer a lot 
of pains. Our annua! estimates always 
seem less than the general involvement 
because there are many blind, numbering 
to between 70-80,000. General survey of 
the blind and other handicapped people 
has not been adequate and therefore 
money is not given per capita head. Much 
we would like to do, but the problem lies 
with money, which has always been 
insufficient. Here I am currently studying 
ways and means of fundraising and how to 
make my nation and society understand 
and know where we are. Please do accept 
my inabilit>' to be present witli you at that 
cordial and fruitful conference. Your 
sincere brother Kamangala. 




In 1967 Congress enacted a law 
which requires States to make upward 
adjustments to families with dependent 
children who qualify for aid. All States 
but California, Indiana, and Nebraska have 
comphed. The deadline was July 1, 1969. 
Now, a year later and after protracted but 
fmitless negotiations with these three 
States, the Department of Health, 
Education, and Welfare has called public 
hearings to detennine the next step. This 
is an orderly procedure within the rale of 
law. California, for instance, set a basic 
needs standard of $328 a month for a 
family of four but so far has refused to go 
beyond its actual payment of $221. As a 
result, benefits for these dependent 
children have dropped during the last two 
years from 91 percent to 67 percent of 
their actual needs as measured by that 
State's own standard of assistance. It is to 
be hoped that if California, Indiana, and 
Nebraska persist in their flagrant disregard 
of the law of the land, the Department of 
Health, Education, and Welfare wiU not 
hesitate any longer to witliliold all Federal 
funds from these States. This ultimate 
sanction will bring quick and desirable 

know that abnormal accumulations of 
galactose can cause a specific type of 
cataract in humans, but these are rare. 
Until 1960, doctors had reported finding 
just fifty such cases. 

* ^: * * * * 

In June, 1970 the National 
Federation of the Blind Student Division 
published a revised edition of its 
Handbook for Blind College Students. 
This brochure contains helpful 
infomiation for blind college students 
including tips on techniques, the role of 
the university in the education of the 
bUnd student, the use of rehabilitation 
services, the use of library services, and 
book producers and catalogs. The 
pamphlet also contains an article on tlie 
purposes and values of the organized blind 
movement. Appendixes iuclude a listing of 
the regional libraries, the agencies 
distributing talking book machines in the 
states, the braille presses in the country, 
and a Usting of the state presidents of the 
National Federation of the Blind. Those 
desiring copies of this brochure should 
write to Mrs, Judy Saunders, P. O. Box 
656, Devils Lake, North Dakota 58301. 

^ ^ :{: ^ >|: :{: 

Two reseai'chers at Johns Hopkins 
Hospital in Baltimore have reported that 
rats whose diets consisted exclusively of 
commercially prepared yogurt developed 
cataracts. It is unknown whether humans, 
if they ate nothing but yogurt for many 
years, would develop the same rare type of 
cataracts. The doctors implicated a 
naturally occurring sugar called galactose 
as the responsible ingredient. Doctors 

At a recent press conference. 
Governor Ronald Reagan of California 
raised the question as to whether he could 
quahfy for Aid to the Blind. He isn't sure 
after a visit to his doctor to check on his 
eyesight. The doctor told Reagan that he 
was legally qualified under state law as 
blind. The Governor made the comment 
while describing and attacking what he 


believes are overiy-liberal standards for 
welfare eligibility in his State. While 
California's Aid to Blind Law is relatively 
more adequate than most, and even 
though the Governor may be legally blind 
without glasses, if he appUes for aid his 
own State Department will have to deny 
the application His salary of S44, 100 a 
year, plus his being a millionaire, would 
seem to disqualify the Governor on the 
basis of need. 

Mrs. Helen Johnson, president of the 
Ohio Council of the Blind, calls our 
attention to the fact that, in the hsting of 
publications of state affiliates in the May, 
1970 issue of The Braille Monitor, we 
neglected to include the Ohio Council 
Bulletin. We are sorry for tliis oversigiit. 
However, one of the reasons for publishing 
the list was that if we inadvertently 
omitted any publication, we would be 
reminded. The Editor of the Oliio Council 
of the Blind Bulletin is Marie Shaffer, 24 
North Prospect Street, Akron. Ohio 

Commission for the Visually Handicapped 
reports that automation may be a boon to 
blind persons. Contrary to fears expressed 
by some people, automation is seen as a 
positive boon to bhnd manpower and 
other handicapped workers. Machines are 
leading to more, not fewer jobs for 
unskilled persons, according to many 
experts. In a recent speech. Dr. Russell A. 
Nixon. Associate Director of NYU's 
Center for Study of Unemployed, 
indicated that two-thirds of the jobs to be 
filled in the next decade would be of such 
nature that they could be filled by blind 
and handicapped persons. 

At a dinner meeting held recently in 
Alexandria, Virginia, John Nagle, the 
Federation's Wasliington Office Chief, 
installed the following persons in offices 
of the Potomac Federation of the Blind: 
Marion McDonald, president; Ruth Smith, 
first vice-president; Robert McDonald, 
second vice-president; Mary Lee West, 
recording secretary; James Copeland, 
corresponding secretary; Olga Wriglit, 
treasurer; and Jerry Arsenault, Judy 
Duncan, and Bill Pettit as board members. 

Mrs. Ceinwen Kingsmith of 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been denied a 
teaching job in the city schools. Mrs. 
Kingsmith, blind since birth, had applied 
for a job teaching Russian. She has taken 
her case to the U. S. District Court. She 
holds a master's degree from Harvard 
University and now teaches at a training 
center for hard-core unemployed in 

The publication of the Virginia 

In a move of far-reaching 
significance, the U. S. Department of 
Health, Education, and Welfare has issued 
a proposed regulation which would require 
state and local welfare agencies to make 
their program manuals and poUcies 
available to the pubUc. These materials 
would include the agency's rules on need 
and eligibility for services, the type of 
services offered, and recipient rights and 
responsibilities. Such a rule has long been 
sought by the organized blind and will 


meet a real need. 

The State Auditor's Office in Dover, 
Delaware has recently reported that 
inadequate accounting records of the 
Delaware Commission for the Blind make 
it virtually impossible to determine how 
much money is missing. 

* * * * * * 

The Palmetto Aiiromn, official 
publication of the South Cai-olina Aurora 
Club of the Blind, celebrates its tenth 
anniversary this year. The publication is 
printed on a quarterly basis and its issues 
over the past decade reflect the 
phenomenal progress and 
accomplishments of the Aurora Club of 
the Blind. The Braille Monitor salutes The 
Palmetto Aiiroran and its distinguished 
Editor, Donald C. Capps, on their 
accomplishments in behalf of the blind 
men, women, and children of South 

^ ^ ^ ^ :^ :i: 

After tlie House of Representatives 
passed the President's Family Assistance 
Plan in April, this sweeping welfare reform 
measure ran into deep trouble in the 
hearings before the Senate Finance 
Committee. That Committee told the 
Administration, in effect, to go back to 
the drawing board and come up with a 
better bill. In June the President 
resubmitted to the Congress a revamped 
plan designed to meet the objections of 
conservatives on the Committee. The chief 
change is the proposal to replace Medicaid 
with a national health insurance program 
for the family poor. The President's 

Family Health Plan will not go to the 
Congress in legislative form until next 
January, at which time it is certain to 
generate a great deal of debate between 
the liberals who feel that the plan is too 
little and too late, and the conservatives 
who feel that it is too much, too soon. In 
the meantime, the Administration hopes 
that its original Family Assistance Plan 
will pass this yeai^ by writing in assurances 
that next year it will submit a Family 
Health Plan, fitting in such items as food 
stamps, medical care, and supplements to 
housing. The Family Assistance Plan may 
be enacted this calendar year-but don't 
bet on it. 

:lj :J: ;J: :ii He :{: 

The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Council of 
the Blind held its third annual banquet on 
May 2, 1970. Mr B. A. Masoodi was the 
speaker. He is one of Indiana's four blind 
teachers in the pubhc schools of the State, 
On May 29th Garold McGill, president of 
the Fort Wayne Council, testified at the 
Penn Central Railroad's hearing on its 
request to discontinue the remainder of its 
passenger trains. Many blind people do not 
like to fly or do not have the financial 
means to do so. Even though there are 
many Wind persons working in just about 
every conceivable branch of employment, 
most of them fall into the middle income 
class of between five and ten thousand 
dollars a year. With the discontinuance of 
train service the only alternatives would be 
automobiles, which the blind cannot drive, 
interstate bus service, which is also being 
reduced, and travel by air. The railroad has 
generously granted travel books for the 
blind which give a two-for-one fare to 
allow for accompaniment by a sighted 
guide. McGill is hopeful that other blind 
persons who use the railroads will make 


their views known at any other pubUc sections of the country, 

hearings wliich may be held in their 




Revised and Adopted 1970 


The name of this organization is The National Federation of the Blind. 


The purpose of The National Federation of the Blind is to promote the security and 
social welfare of the blind. 


Section a. Membership of Tlie National Federation of the Blind shall consist of the 

I members of the state affiliates plus members at large in states, territories, and possessions 

' of the United States not having affiliates, who shall have the same rights, privileges, and 

I responsibilities. 


I Under procedures to be established by the Executive Committee, any person denied 

I admission by a state affiliate may be admitted as a member at large. The dues of members 

■ at large shall be one dollar per year. 


j Section b. Each state or territorial possession of the United States, including the District 

of Columbia, having an affiliate shall have one vote at the National Convention and shall 

be referred to hereinafter as state affiliates. 

Section c. Affiliates shall be organizations of the blind, controlled by the blind. 

Section d. The Executive Committee shall establish procedures for the admission of new 
state affiliates. There shall be only one affiliate in each state, except as hereinafter 
provided in this Article: 

(1) More tluui one affiliate may continue to exist in states which have 
more than one affiliate at the time of the adoption of this 

(2) VVitii the consent of the organizations involved, more than one 
affiliate may be admitted in a state or territorial possession under 
procedures to be established by the Executive Committee. 

(3) If all of the organizations involved do not consent to tiie admission 

of more Ihan one affiliate in a state, such action may not be taken 
except by an affinnative vote of at least three-fourths of tlie states 
present and voting at a National Convention. 

(4) In any state having two or more affiliates the state sliall be entitled 
to one vote cast as a unit. The dues and voting strength shall be 
apportioned among the affiliates according to mutual agreement. In 
the absence of such agreement the dues and voting strength shall be 
apportioned equally. 

Section e. Tlic Convention by a two-thirds vote may expel and by a simple majority' vote 
suspend, or otherwise discipline, any member or affiliate for conduct inconsistent with 
this Constitution, or policies established by the Convention; provided that notice of the 
proposed action shall be announced to the Convention on tlie preceding day. 


Section a. The officers of The National Federation of the Blind shall consist of (1) 
president, (2) first vice-president, (3) second vice-president, (4) secretary, and (5) 
treasurer. Tliey shall be elected biennially. 

Section b. The officei-s shall be elected by majority \ote of the state affiliates present and 
voting at a National Convention. 

Section c. The National Federation of the Blind shall iiave an Executive Committee, 
which shall be composed of the officers plus eight members selected in the same way, 
whose regular lenn shall be two years, all eight members to be elected under this system 
beginning in July, 1960, four for two years and four for one year. 

Section d. There shall be, in addition, a Board of Directors, the duties of the said Board 
shall be advisory only. The member.ship of the Board of Directors sliall be tlie officers of 
the Federation, the elected members of the Executive Committee, and other persons, not 
to exceed twelve in number, who may be appointed, from time to time, by the Executive 
Committee, subject to confirmation by the Federation at the next ensuing annual 
Convention. When so confirmed, such members of the Board of Directors shall serve for 
one year, or until their successors shall have been appointed by the Executive Committee. 

Section e. Officers, Executive Committee members, and members of the Board of 
Directors may be removed or recalled by a majority vote of the Convention; provided 
that notice of the proposed action shall be announced to the Convention on the 
preceding day. 

Section f. No person receiving regular substantial fiiuinciai compensation from The 
National Federation of the Blind shall be an elected officer or Executive Committee 


Section a. Powers and Duties of the Convention. 

The Convention is tlie supreme authority of tiie Federation. Jt is the legislature of 
the Federation. As such, it has final autiiority with respect to all issues of policy. Its 
decisions shall be made after opportunity has been afforded for full and fair discussion. 
Delegates, members, and all blind persons in attendance may participate in all Convention 
discussions as a matter of right. Any member of the Federation may make or second 
motions, propose nominations, and serve on committees; and is eligible for election to 
office, except that only blind members may hold elective office. Voting and making 
motions by proxy are prohibited. The Convention shall (when possible) determine the 
time and place of its meetings. Consistent witii the democratic character of the 
Federation, Convention meetings shall be so conducted as to prevent parliamentary 
maneuvers which would have the effect of interfering with the expression of the will of 
the majority on any question, or with tlie rights of the minority to full and fair 
presentation of their views. The Convention is not merely a gathering of representatives 
of separate state organizations. It is a meelnig o\ the Federation at the national level in its 
character as a national organization. Committees of the Federation are committees of the 
national organization. The nominating committee shall consist of one member from each 
state affiliate represented at the Convention 

Section b. Powers and Duties of the Executive Committee. 

The function of the Executive Committee as the governing body of the Federation 
between Conventions is to make policies when necessary and not in conflict with the 
policies adopted by the Convention. Policy decisions which can reasonably be postponed 
imtil the next meeting of the National Convention shall not be made by the Executive 
Committee. The Executive Committee shall sei-ve as a credentials committee. In this 
capacity it sliall deal with organizational problems presented to it by any affiliate, shall 
decide appeals regarding the validity of elections in state or local affiliates, and shall 
certify the credentials of delegates when questions concerning the validity of such 
credentials arise. At each meeting, the Executive Committee shall receive a report from 
the President on the operations of the Federation. There shall be a standing 
subcommittee of the Executive Committee which shall consist of three members. The 
committee shall be known as the Subcommittee on Budget and Finance. It shall, 
whenever it deems necessary, recommend to the Executive Committee principles of 
budgeting, accounting procedures, and methods of financing the Federation program; and 
shall consult with the President on major expenditures. 

The Executive Committee shall meet at the time of each National Convention. It 
shall hold other meetings on the call of tlie President or on the written request of any five 


Section c. Powers and Duties of the President. 

The President is the principal administrative officer of the Federation. In this 
capacity his duties consist of: carrying out the poUcies adopted by the Convention; 
conducting tlie day-to-day inanagement of the affairs of the Federation; authorizing 
expenditures from the Federation treasury' in accordance with and in implementation of 
the policies estabhshed by the Convention; appointing all committees of the Federation 
except the Executive Committee; coordinating all activities of the Federation including 
the work of other officers aiid of committees; hiring, supervising and, when necessary, 
dismissing staff members and other employees of the Federation and determining their 
numbers and compensation; taking all administrative actions necessary and proper to put 
into effect the programs and accomplish the puiT)Oses of the Federation. 

The implementation and administration o\' the interim policies adopted by the 
Executive Committee is the responsibility of the President as principal administrative 
officer of the Federation. 


Any organized group desiring to become a state affiliate of the National Federation 
of the Blind shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the President of the National 
Federation of the Blind a copy of its Constitution and a list of the names and addresses of 
its elected oftlcers. Under jirocedures to be established by the Executive Committee 
action shall be taken on the application. If the action is affirmative, the National 
Federation of the Blind shall issue to the organization a charter of affiliation. Upon 
request of the national President the State affiliate shall, from time to time, provide to 
tlie national President the names and addresses of its members. Copies of all amendments 
to the Constitution and/or by-laws of an atTiliate shall be sent without delay to the 
national President. No organization shall be accepted as an affiliate and no organization 
shall remain an affiliate unless at least a majority of its voting members are blind. The 
president, the vice-president (or vice-presidents) and at least a majority of the executive 
committee or board of directors of the State affiliate and of all of its local chapters must 
be bUnd. Affiliates must not merely be social organizations but must formulate programs 
and actively work to promote the economic and social bettemient of the blind. Affiliates 
must comply with the provisions of die Constitution of the Federation. Policy decisions 
of the Federation are binding upon all affiliates, and the affiliate must participate 
affirmatively in carrying out such policy decisions. 

A general convention of the membership of an affiliate or of the elected delegates of 
the membership must be held and its principal executive officers must be elected at least 
once every two years. There can be no closed membership. Proxy voting is prohibited in 
state and local affiliates. Each affiliate must have a written constitution or by-laws setting 
forth its structure, the authority of its officers, and the basic procedures which it will 
follow. No publicly contributed funds may be divided among the membership of an 
affiliate on the basis of membership, and (upon request from the national office) an 

affiliate must present an accounting of ail of its receipts and expenditures. An affiliate 
which fails to be represented at three consecutive National Conventions may be 
considered to be inactive, and may be suspended as an affiliate by the Executive 
CoiTimittee. The affiliate must not indulge in attacks upon the officers, committeemen, 
leaders, or members of the Federation or upon the organization itself outside of the 
organization, and must not allow its officers or members to indulge in such attacks. This 
reciuirement sliall not be interpreted to interfere with the right of an affiliate or its 
officers or members to cairy on a political campaign inside the Federation for election to 
office or to achieve policy changes. No affiliate may join or support, or allow its officers 
or members to join or support, any temporary or permanent organization inside the 
Federation which has not received the sanction and approval of the Federation. 


Each state affiliate shall pay an annual assessment of $30.00. Assessments shall be 
payable in advcmce on or before January 1. 

Any state affiliate which is in arrears with its dues at the time of the National 
Convention shall be denied llie right to vote. 


In the event of dissolution, all assets of the organization shall be given to an 
organization with similar purposes which has received a 501.C3 certification by the 
Internal Revenue Sei-vice. 


This Constitution may be amended at any regular annual Convention of the 
Federation by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the states registered, present, and 
voting. Provided further: that the proposed amendment must be signed by five member 
states in good standing and that it must have been presented to the President the day 
before final action by the Convention. 

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